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China’s Xi to meet Assad at Asian Games kick-off


Xi Jinping attends BRICS Summit in Johannesburg

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the plenary session of the 2023 BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 23, 2023. GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

President Xi “will attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou from September 22 to 23, and hold a welcome banquet and bilateral activities for foreign leaders visiting China”, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Foreign guests in attendance will include Assad — on his first visit to China since war erupted in Syria in 2011 — as well as leaders from ally Cambodia, Kuwait, and Nepal, among others, CCTV said.

The Games were supposed to take place last September but were postponed because of China’s strict zero-Covid regime, before the ruling Communist Party abruptly abandoned the policy.

The 19th edition of the Games, which were first held in New Delhi in 1951, brings together athletes from 45 countries and territories across Asia and the Middle East.

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