Just days after a large central Asian security summit and a deadly attack on mainland construction workers in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is poised to establish a counter-terrorism and anti-drug smuggling unit, the Beijing Youth Daily reports. The report said the new security affairs unit would be focused on foreign operations and would take over responsibilities formerly spread across a number of Foreign Ministry departments. The new agency is expected to be more efficient against international terrorism and drug trafficking. Last week the regional security grouping, the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), launched its own anti-terrorism body, based in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. Du Wei , assistant to the SCO's general secretary, said there would be no relationship between the regional body and the Foreign Ministry's proposed new unit. But Chinese Academy of Social Science researcher Niu Jun said it was understood the unit would work with the SCO's counter-terrorism body. According to the Foreign Ministry, last year more than 20 million Chinese nationals travelled abroad. Professor Niu said the Foreign Ministry had to protect and help them. 'The terrorist attack in Afghanistan sounded an alarm for China and it's high time for such a unit to be put into operation, to better service Chinese citizens abroad and deal with incidents involving Chinese nationals abroad,' he said.