President Bashar al-Assad, along with his wife, Asma al-Assad, is scheduled to embark on an official visit to the Chinese capital, Beijing, commencing on Thursday, September 21. This visit comes in response to the gracious invitation extended by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Syrian presidency has officially announced, via its Telegram channel, that President al-Assad will be joined by a prominent political and economic delegation. This significant visit will encompass a series of meetings and events hosted by President al-Assad and Mrs. Asma al-Assad, spanning across the cities of Khanju and the capital, Beijing.
Analytical circles are interested in the visit before it happens:
Just two days ago, press leaks confirmed President Assad’s upcoming visit to China. In the wake of this revelation, speculations and analyses have begun to circulate, fueled by recent events, most notably the G20 summit held in New Delhi a few days ago. The summit, spearheaded by US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, unfolded in the notable absence of both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The summit discussions primarily revolved around the concept of an “economic corridor” that would connect India to Europe and occupied Palestine, potentially serving as the cornerstone of a burgeoning economic alliance. This development also raised questions about the deepening normalization between the Israeli occupation entity and several Gulf states. Furthermore, it introduced concerns about the potential marginalization of the Suez Canal as a global trade corridor between the East and West, and posed challenges to the strength of the Chinese Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative.
Syria is an important strategic asset for China:
In this context, Dr. Shaher al-Shaher, a professor of international studies at the Chinese University, shared his insights in an article published by al-Mayadeen Net. He stated, “Syria holds a strategic significance for China, not solely due to its valuable natural resources but also because of its geopolitical importance, geographical location, cultural influence, and its role in Middle Eastern politics. Despite maintaining consistent relations with Syria throughout the years of conflict, China’s stance has not escalated to match Beijing’s resolute positions within the Security Council, where it has exercised its veto power on several occasions in support of Syria.”
Dr. Shaher emphasized that “China’s foreign policy concerning Syria has been guided by the convergence of interest and ideology, with these two factors remaining fundamental determinants of China’s foreign policy, deeply rooted in Chinese political thought.”
He further explained, “China’s stance on the Syrian conflict has been shaped not only by considerations of interest and ideology but also by its overarching goal of preserving and enhancing its influence in the global balance of power within the Middle East. Beijing has emerged as a significant global player, and the evolution of China’s foreign policy towards Syria is emblematic of its growing status and influence.”
Dr. Shaher concluded his article by noting, “All eyes are now focused on the imminent visit of the Syrian president to Beijing, with widespread expectations that it will mark a historic turning point in the relations between the two nations. It has the potential to become a landmark event in shaping the international balance of power in the Middle East, and perhaps even on a global scale.”
Al-Mayadeen Net also featured an article by political analyst Dr. Ahmed al-Darzi, who highlighted, “Following the outbreak of the war, Syria assumed increased importance for China, as it became one of the countries targeted by the conflict, along with Russia and Iran. Syria, being the primary gateway to reshaping the new Middle East in the event of the war’s success and the influx of Uyghur jihadists, prompted China to thwart the US-Western project in the Security Council in 2012.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.