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 At Xi-Assad meeting, China, Syria upgrade ties to 'strategic partnership'

 At Xi-Assad meeting, China, Syria upgrade ties to 'strategic partnership'

 
- Syrian president is on official visit to China, 1st such visit in nearly 2 decades, and will also attend opening of Asian Games
 

 

By Esra Tekin and Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – China and Syria on Friday upgraded their bilateral relations to a "strategic partnership" during a summit meeting between Xi Jinping and his visiting Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, Beijing said.

Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said the establishment of the strategic partnership "will be a significant milestone in the history of China-Syria relations where the two sides build on the past and usher in the future."

"The Chinese side is ready to work with the Syrian side to firmly support each other and jointly uphold international fairness and justice," Hua said on X.

Xi hosted Assad in Hangzhou, capital of the eastern Zhejiang province, after he arrived in China Thursday for an official visit at the invitation of Xi – the first such visit in nearly two decades.

He will also attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games, which is being hosted in Hangzhou.

The last time he visited China was in 2004, to meet then-President Hu Jintao.

This is his first visit to China since the Syrian civil war broke out more than 12 years ago. During the war, Syria had a relatively low level of international engagement, but in recent years that has started to change.

Assad is accompanied on the visit by first lady Asma al-Assad. The Syrian delegation will also visit the capital Beijing.

 
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