Ethnic minorities account for 51 per cent, or 360,000, of government officials in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region , Xinhua reported. Beijing has boasted about ethnic autonomy in the region but, like Tibet and other regions with large ethnic minority populations, Xinjiang is predominantly ruled by Communist Party officials who are Han Chinese. Xinhua said 417, or 37 per cent, of the region's mid-level officials, and 3,693, or 30 per cent, of its low-level officials were ethnic minorities. Special classes had been set up in elite institutions such as Tsinghua University and the Communist Party School to train ethnic Xinjiang residents to become government officials. More than 1,700 cadres had been trained. About 240 outstanding ethnic minority officials had been sent to central government departments for training, it added. Forty per cent of the 8,000 young officials trained by the Xinjiang government every year came from ethnic minorities.