Beijing, Sep 22 (EFE).- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday in a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad announced the formation of a new “strategic partnership” between the two countries.
“The China-Syria strategic partnership will become an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations,” Xi told Assad in the meeting, which took place in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
“In the face of an international situation plagued by instability and uncertainty, China is willing to work with Syria to firmly support each other, promote friendly cooperation and jointly uphold international fairness and justice,” Xi said, as reported by state broadcaster CCTV.
Xi highlighted that the relations between China and Syria have “withstood the test of storms and international changes,” and the friendship between the two countries has grown stronger over time.
Xi assured Assad that China would support Syria’s reconstruction, counter-terrorism efforts and political settlement initiatives.
Beijing would help the Syrian government to improve its relations with other Arab countries and to play a greater role in international and regional affairs, he said.
Assad, who is on his first visit to China in nearly two decades, will attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian games in Hangzhou on Saturday.
This visit also marks Assad’s first trip to China since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Experts believe that China has been consolidating its influence in Syria and other Arab countries in the Middle East, where the United States, its long-standing rival, maintains a strong political and military presence.
The United States leads an international coalition fighting against the extremist group Islamic State (IS), and has deployed its military to several bases in Syria, despite the opposition of Assad’s government. EFE