TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Chinese government has stepped up its military presence in the border area with Afghanistan in a bid to prevent possible attacks on western China by militants and terror groups, local reports said.

According to Press Shia dispatches, China has built a “counter-terrorism center” near the three-way border of Tajikistan, China, and Afghanistan and deployed its forces to the area, Afghanistan’s 1TV reported.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense has welcomed China’s move to ramp up its security presence near the border with the country, saying Afghan security forces would mount a joint massive military operation with China in the areas.

China has repeatedly warned about ethnic Uighur militants who have left their homeland in western China to join extremist groups such as the Turkistan Islamic Party, a predominantly Uighur group that has bases in Syria and Afghanistan and is allied with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, according to media reports.

In the meantime, the Afghan government has been preparing to launch an operation under the name of “Nasrat” to suppress insurgent groups in Badakhshan, the province neighboring China, according to the Times of Islamabad.

“Insurgents have their presence in cooperation with the local Taliban in Badakhshan and the foreign Taliban are also supporting and training them,” said Ahmad Faisal Beghzad, the governor of Badakhshan.