29 February 2024

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China and Syria Forge Alliance Ahead of Asian Games

China and Syria formed an alliance of strategy on Friday, as Chinese President Xi Jinping began a series of diplomatic talks ahead of the Asian Games.

Xi visited Syrian President Bashar Assad in Hangzhou, China, which is hosting the 15-day sporting competition.

“In the face of an unstable and uncertain international situation, China is willing to work with Syria to firmly support each other… and jointly safeguard international fairness and justice,” Xi said in a video clip released by official broadcaster CCTV.

In a few ways, Assad’s visit mirrors that of Russian President Vladimir Putin last year for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Both leaders are virtual pariahs in the West, but China welcomes them as it seeks to increase its worldwide influence and create an alternative to the US-led global order.

Syria’s president will attend the Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday night, along with Cambodia’s king, Kuwait’s crown prince, and the prime ministers of Nepal, East Timor, and South Korea, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

On Friday, Xi met with Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah and promised to work with him to raise bilateral relations to a new level, according to CCTV.

Both sessions were held at the West Lake state guest house. West Lake is a lovely tourist location that has long inspired Chinese painters.

King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia arrived in Hangzhou on Friday. CCTV footage shared online showed Trump descending down the stairs from his plane to the runway for a red carpet reception that included the Asian Games mascots.

Assad, on a rare journey overseas, is seeking for ways to break free from the diplomatic isolation brought on by a deadly conflict at home that shows no signs of ending after 12 years. He was expected to address China’s economic support, which might play a significant role in Syria’s future recovery.

Diplomatic Moves Strengthen China Global Influence

According to Syrian media, Assad thanked Xi and his administration for sticking behind the Syrian people “during the crisis and suffering.” China has backed Assad, rejecting resolutions against his government eight times at the United Nations Security Council.

Assad hoped that the meeting would serve as the foundation for “wide-ranging and long-term strategic cooperation in all fields” between China and Syria.

The Asian Games, which have a larger number of athletes than the Olympics, have also provoked a diplomatic spit between India and China. Three Indian athletes from Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as its territory, refused to accept their visas and returned home after being issued visas stapled to their passports that were not the same as those granted to the rest of the squad.

The Asian Games were originally scheduled for last year but were postponed because to China’s tight pandemic restrictions at the time. In December of last year, China relaxed its regulations.