Police stand guard at a crime scene after a deadly knifing
incident in Changsha, Hunan province, last week.
Chinese police will increase armed patrols, especially in
densely populated areas like urban centres and transport hubs,
in a drive to crack down on violent crime, state news agency
China's stability obsessed ruling Communist Party, always
jittery about any threats to its rule, has been alarmed by a
series of incidents in recent months, including a knife
attack at a train station in the city of Kunming blamed on
militants from the far western region of Xinjiang this month.
"The ministry (of public security) said that it will carry
out armed patrols and take timely measures to handle violent
criminals," Xinhua said.
"The ministry urged public security organs at all levels to
increase work efficiency and further improve the emergency
command mechanism in order to fight crime," it added.
Police should also "enhance prevention and control" over busy
areas like stations, airports, schools, hospitals and tourist
attractions, Xinhua said.
Chinese police generally do not carry guns and gun crime in
rare in a country with tight controls on firearms. Most
violent crime happens with knives, or homemade weapons like
small bombs made of fertilizer or other easily obtainable
Last week, police shot dead a man who went on a rampage with
a knife in central China, killing five, after a dispute
between market vendors got out of control.
China's leadership is highly sensitive to issues of unrest
from separatist groups in the northwestern Xinjiang region to
dissidents organising through booming social media networks.
The government typically spends more on domestic security
than even on its fast-growing military budget, though it
unusually did not publicize the overall figure this year.
Police in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai will
increase surveillance, while Kunming, the site of the recent
attack, Xinjiang capital Urumqi and Tibetan city Lhasa will
also see security tightened, Xinhua said.
China's intense focus on domestic security has at times drawn
criticism from international rights group, who say
authorities use it to suppress anyone who rattles the
country's tightly controlled political system.