10:51 GMT27 February 2021
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    China has appointed its first counter-terrorism commissioner, local media reported on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Liu Yuejin, a former assistant minister of public security with extensive experience in countering drug trafficking, has been placed in charge of coordinating efforts in terrorist attack prevention, China Daily newspaper reported, citing an official statement by the Ministry of Public Security made on Sunday.

    Chinese authorities' growing concern with increasing extremist activity in the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang autonomous region, and with the number of terrorist attacks that have occurred over the past few years, has galvanized efforts to set up a national intelligence sharing and analyzing platform, according to a Chinese counter-terrorism expert quoted by the newspaper.

    Previous counter-terrorist efforts included a year-long operation in Xinjiang, which led to several extremists linked to the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in Arabic) terrorist group, outlawed in Russia, being prevented from departing for the Middle East.

    The November 13 attacks in Paris have prompted China's authorities to take steps to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in China, according to the public security ministry.

    In March 2014, 29 civilians were killed at the Kunming railway station by attackers reportedly linked to Xinjiang militants. In May 2014, a busy shopping street in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi,was attacked by militants, resulting in 43 deaths in what has become the deadliest incident in the Xinjiang conflict to date.

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    counterterrorism, Liu Yuejin, China
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