Following Syrian President Bashar Assad’s first visit to China in almost 20 years, a number of statements have been made about the talks. According to Chinese state television CCTV, after a meeting between Assad and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hangzhou, the Chinese president said: “Today, we will jointly announce the establishment of the China-Syria strategic partnership, which will mark an important milestone in history of bilateral relations”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also called on the West to lift sanctions on Syria and offered Beijing’s help in rebuilding the war-torn country. CCTV reported that the following was stated in the talks: “China opposes interference by external forces in Syria’s internal affairs and urges all relevant countries to lift illegal unilateral sanctions against Syria.” The Chinese president said his country would upgrade ties to a ‘strategic partnership’ to help Syria rebuild its devastated economy and counter domestic unrest. Experts say China’s support for Assad’s efforts to return to the world stage has allowed it to advance its strategic interests in the Middle East, where it is aligned with Iran and Saudi Arabia.
It was also stressed that in the face of the international situation of instability and uncertainty, China is willing to continue to work with Syria, support each other, promote friendly cooperation, and jointly defend international justice and fairness. According to the Chinese diplomatic concept, “strategic partnership” means closer coordination on regional and international issues, including in the military sphere.