Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to visit China for bilateral summit.

In a significant diplomatic move, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is set to embark on a journey to China this week for a bilateral summit with his Chinese counterpart, as confirmed by the Syrian presidency in a statement released on Tuesday.

Accompanied by his wife, Asmaa al-Assad, and a high-level delegation, President Assad will commence his visit to China on Thursday, where a series of meetings are scheduled to take place in Beijing and Changzhou. The highlight of the visit will be a summit between Presidents Assad and Xi, cementing the strong Syrian-Chinese ties, as stated in the official release.

This visit marks a significant moment in the diplomatic history of Syria-China relations. The last visit by President Assad to China took place in 2004 when he met with then-President Hu Jintao. This historic visit was the first by a Syrian head of state to China since the two nations established diplomatic relations in 1956.

China, much like Syria’s principal allies Russia and Iran, has maintained unwavering support and diplomatic relations with Syria even in the face of international isolation for President Assad due to his government’s harsh crackdown on anti-government demonstrations that erupted in 2011.

China’s role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has been instrumental in the diplomatic landscape surrounding Syria. On multiple occasions, China has exercised its veto power to block resolutions related to Syria, including several proposals aimed at extending cross-border aid operations into areas beyond the control of the Syrian government.

Notably, the year has witnessed a shift in President Assad’s diplomatic standing, with the Arab League reinstating Syria as a full-fledged member after over a decade of suspension. This diplomatic development signals a potential reintegration of Syria into the Arab political fold.

The forthcoming summit between Presidents Assad and Xi holds promise for further strengthening the longstanding ties between Syria and China, while also offering an opportunity for both leaders to discuss critical regional and international issues. It underscores China’s continued commitment to its partnership with Syria, even in times of significant geopolitical challenges.