Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad on Friday, and said the two leaders would unveil a new “strategic partnership.”
Assad is on his first official trip to China in almost two decades as he seeks financial support to rebuild his devastated country, as well as rehabilitation for his regime from years of isolation over Syria’s civil war.
He will attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou on Saturday.
Xi and Assad met in the eastern Chinese city on Friday afternoon, state media said.
“Today, we will jointly announce the establishment of the China-Syria strategic partnership, which will become an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations,” Xi told Assad, according to a readout from state broadcaster CCTV.