Syria’s Assad visits China in first official trip in decades to seek funds


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SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR al-Assad today began his first official trip to China in almost two decades, with Beijing saying the visit will take ties to a “new level” as the Arab leader seeks financial support to help rebuild his devastated country. China is one of only a handful of countries outside the Middle East that Assad has visited since the 2011 start of a civil war that has killed more than half a million people, displaced millions more, and battered Syria’s infrastructure and industry. Assad is the latest in a string of leaders ostracised by the West to be feted...