Legislators in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang will start drafting regulations this year against religious extremism, which they blame for violent attacks in the country in recent years, the China Daily reported on Thursday. Xinjiang’s legislature will also draft local implementation guidelines for a new counterterrorism law, which the National People’s Congress passed in December, the newspaper said. READ MORE: Chinese forces kill 28 ‘terrorists’ blamed for deadly Xinjiang coal mine attack “Drafting local regulations on anti-terrorism and eliminating religious extremism are the main focus of this year's legislative work, which will provide solid legal support for Xinjiang to combat terrorism and religious extremism,” Nayim Yassen, director of the Standing Committee of Xinjiang’s regional People’s Congress, was quoted as saying. He made the comments on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the congress in the region’s capital, Urumqi, the newspaper said. Hundreds of people have been killed over the past few years in resource-rich Xinjiang, strategically located on the borders of central Asia, in violence between the Muslim Uygur people who call the region home and ethnic majority Han Chinese. The government has blamed the unrest on Islamist militants, though rights groups and exiles say anger at Chinese controls on the religion and culture of the Uygurs is more to blame for the unrest. China denies any repression in Xinjiang. In a New Year’s address published in the Xinjiang Daily , the region’s Communist Party boss, Zhang Chunxian, said the religious atmosphere had become markedly less radical last year and the government was broadly successful in maintaining stability. READ MORE: China’s military in restive Xinjiang told to learn Uygur folk songs and dances The Xinjiang parliament approved a ban in Urumqi last year on the wearing of Islamic veils in public, the China Daily said. Xinjiang said it had banned the practice of religion in government buildings in late 2014 and people would be prohibited from wearing, or forcing others to wear, clothes or logos associated with religious extremism.