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China–Syria relations


China–Syria relations

China-Syria relations
Map indicating locations of China and Syria



China–Syria relations are foreign relations between China and Syria. Diplomatic relations between both countries were established on August 1, 1956. China has an embassy in Damascus and Syria has an embassy in Beijing.


  • Economic relations 1
  • Military relations 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Economic relations

China and Syria have significant trade relations. In 2009, mutual trade between the two countries was worth nearly $2.2 billion according to figures from the International Monetary Fund, and similar trade volumes were expected by the Syrian Ministry of Economy for 2010. The trade, however, is almost entirely one way. Exports from Syria to China made up less than 1 percent of the total trade volume at $5.6 million, while exports from China to Syria were worth $2.2 billion making China Syria's main importer.[1][2][3] China is actively involved in Syria's oil industry. China National Petroleum Corporation is a joint venture partner with Syria's national oil company and Royal Dutch Shell in the Al-Furat Petroleum Company, the main oil producing consortium in the country.[4] The Al-Furat consortium produces some 100,000 barrels per day (bpd).[5] Sinochem is another Chinese oil company that has been very active in recent oil exploration tenders. China's CNPC and Sinopec are helping to revive output under rehabilitation contracts for small mature oil fields in Syria.[4]

Military relations

In 1969, then chief of staff Mustafa Tlass led a military mission to Beijing, and secured weapons deals with the Chinese government.[6][7][8] In a move calculated to deliberately antagonize the Sovietbears to stay out of the succession dispute then going on in Syria, Mustafa Tlass allowed himself to be photographed waving Mao Zedong's Little Red Book, just two months after bloody clashes between Chinese and Soviet armies on the Ussuri river.[9][10] The Soviet Union then agreed to back down and sell Syria weapons.

In 1993 and 1996, China was reported to be assisting Syrian ballistic missile programs.[11][12]

On October 19, 1999, Defence Minister of China, General Chi Haotian, met with Syrian Defence Minister Mustafa Tlass in Damascus, Syria, to discuss expanding military ties between Syria and China. [13]

See also


  1. ^ Kassab, Dana (December 2010). "Enter the Dragon". Syria Today. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Syria: EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World". European Commission. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "The World Factbook". CIA. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Factbox - Syria's energy sector". Reuters. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Syria, 2010.. London: Oxford Business Group. 2010. p. 103.  
  6. ^ Peter Mansfield, Royal Institute of International Affairs. Information Dept (1973). The Middle East: a political and economic survey. Oxford University Press. p. 480.  
  7. ^ George Meri Haddad, Jūrj Marʻī Ḥaddād (1973). Revolutions and Military Rule in the Middle East: The Arab states pt. I: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, Volume 2. R. Speller. p. 380. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  8. ^ Europa Publications Limited (1997). The Middle East and North Africa, Volume 43. Europa Publications. p. 905.  
  9. ^ Robert Owen Freedman (1982). The Soviet policy toward the Middle East since 1970. Praeger. p. 34. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  10. ^ Robert Owen Freedman (1991). Moscow and the Middle East: Soviet policy since the invasion of Afghanistan. CUP Archive. p. 40.  
  11. ^ Dinshaw Mistry (2005). Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control. University of Washington Press. p. 106.  
  12. ^ Anthony H. Cordesman (1999). Containing Iran's military forces in transition: conventional threats and weapons of mass destruction. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 262.  
  13. ^ "China defense minister visits Israel". World Tribune. Thursday, October 21, 1999

External links

  • Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the relations with Syria
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