China says seeks closer military ties with Syria

August 16, 2016 13:52

BEIJING - China wants to have closer military ties with Syria, state media on Tuesday cited a senior Chinese officer as saying during a rare visit to the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

While relying on the region for oil supplies, China tends to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

But China has been trying to get more involved, including sending envoys to help push for a diplomatic resolution to the violence there and hosting Syrian government and opposition figures.

Guan Youfei, director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China's Central Military Commission, met Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij in Damascus, China's Xinhua state news agency said.

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