China, Syria Deepen Ties With ‘Strategic Partnership’
What’s new: China and Syria have established a “strategic partnership” to deepen cooperation and renew support on “core interest” issues, according to a statement released after the countries’ leaders met in Hangzhou ahead of the opening of 19th Asian Games.
President Xi Jinping told Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad that China supports the Middle Eastern nation’s efforts to oppose foreign interference and strengthen its counter-terrorism capabilities, according to a Friday statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
China also urged countries to “immediately lift all illegal unilateral sanctions against Syria” in another joint statement released by the ministry Friday.
The Syrian side said it will actively participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and expressed “firm support” for Beijing’s approach in solving issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, the joint statement said.
The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in fields including economy and trade, agriculture and culture, while making joint efforts to combat terrorism.
The background: Assad’s six-day visit, scheduled to end Tuesday, is his first trip to China since 2004.
China has been growing its influence in the Middle East recently. Earlier this year it mediated the restoration of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
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