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Syrian President Assad Heads to Beijing as China Ramps Up Mideast Diplomacy

File image of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who made his first visit to China since 2004 on 21 September 2023. LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will arrive in China on Thursday ahead of a landmark summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Assad’s visit kicks off a new round of Chinese diplomacy focused on the Mideast in the weeks ahead that will also include visits by Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in October.

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