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President Bashar al-Assad’s Interview with Chinese Media

Syrian President Bashar al-Assasd interview with Chinese media - مقابلة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد مع التلفزيون الصيني

President Bashar al-Assad gave an important interview to the Chinese Media Group upon concluding his state visit to China and after the important summit with President Xi Jinping and the meetings with top Chinese officials on the sidelines of Asia Games 2023.

In his interview, President al-Assad addressed many important topics including his impression of the developments in China since his last visit to the country 19 years ago, the talks during the summit with President Xi Jinping, and the announcement of establishing the strategic partnership between Syria and China, the US-led Western neo-liberalism dangerous war of terrorism and attrition against the Syrian people, and the rebuilding of Syria among many other important topics.

Following is the interview followed by the full transcript of the English translation:

The video is also available on Rumble, BitChute, and YouTube.

Transcript

Intro: Thank you for accepting the exclusive interview with China Media Group,

Question:
The last time you and your wife visited China was in 2004. How do you feel about revisiting China, and what are the most significant changes you felt in China?

President Bashar al-Assad:
First, thank you for conducting this interview today. As for the visit to China, when we visited China 19 years ago until today, there were very big leaps. If I wanted to make a comparison, I could say that it is difficult to make a comparison because a lot has changed.

At that time, it was said that China was called the factory of goods for the world, but today I can say that China is the factory of creativity, on the one hand; on the other hand, what is known about the Chinese people is that they love their country very much, and it is natural for any people to always be proud of their country, but it is quite clear that this pride has reached much greater levels because of the Chinese achievements, but what I want to focus on, and it may be just as important as these achievements, and it may be more important, is what has not changed in China, and here is the biggest challenge, because changes always bring with them negative aspects. The most important thing that has not changed in China is culture, belonging to the homeland, to society, to Chinese customs and traditions. This is the greatest success.

Many countries can develop technologically, economically, and in various scientific fields, but few of them can maintain their identity, and the Chinese identity today is as clear as it was 20 years ago.

Question:
This time, you and your wife also attended the opening ceremony of the Asian Games. When the Syrian delegation entered the place, the scene was full of liveliness and excitement. I would like to share with you a video of the scene when the Syrian delegation entered the place.

People were screaming and cheering, and on Chinese social media many Chinese netizens left their comments, I would like to share a few with you:

One person wrote: You have to look at the stars even in the ruins.
Another comment said: It shows the world not only destruction but also boundless vitality.
Another person commented: My hope is that roses will bloom in all parts of Damascus and that peace and love will remain in this land that overlooks even the desert.

Mr. President, what do you want to say to the Chinese public and netizens?

President Bashar al-Assad:
Of course, I remember this moment accurately because it is a touching moment when the Chinese fans in the stadium cheered for the entry of the Syrian team, this means a lot in such a situation because it is a spontaneous moment, this is the Chinese people.

Sometimes we think that because of distances we are far away from each other emotionally, and perhaps with different concepts. This moment was enough to say that China and Syria on the popular level are close to each other, but for Internet users, regarding this particular event, I want to thank them for their interest, and for the comments, some of which we read and which were very touching, for their knowledge of Syria’s historical and modern relationship with China, for what is happening in Syria, and for their love for Syria.

But specifically with regard to the opening ceremony in particular, I want to say that the message that we received through the opening and social networking sites intersects and is linked to each other, which is the greatness of China and Chinese pride with Chinese humility.

Question:
While you were in Guangzhou, the Chinese President held a historic meeting with you and you jointly announced the establishment of a strategic partnership between China and Syria. How do you read the meaning of this strategic partnership and in what areas do you look forward to seeing greater development in cooperation between the two countries?

President Bashar al-Assad:
China today is a superpower, playing a very important role in the world. However, when it talks about partnership, it is talking about a new principle, not about hegemony. What we are missing as countries in various countries of the world, not only in Syria but especially the smaller countries, need this partnership and this role. China is playing this role because China has stood with Syria politically through its role in the Security Council and a number of international forums, in addition to its clear political positions that are far from pleasantries.

The political aspect is developed, but it is natural for there to be a broader dialogue in these circumstances that the world is going through. There is the economic aspect and the development aspect. For us in Syria, this concerns us a lot because Syria is now exposed to a bad, cruel, and dangerous economic siege from the West aimed at starving the Syrian people. This aspect is important to us and was one of the topics we expanded on with Chinese officials, in several aspects.

Of course, China provides humanitarian aid to Syria and plays an important role in alleviating suffering. We have set titles, when we return to Damascus, meetings will be held to develop mechanisms to transform these titles into practical work projects.

Question:
In your meeting with President Xi, you mentioned that China has embarked on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and we have noticed that there are also some discussions in Syria about how to learn from China’s development experience.

What inspiration do you think the Chinese-style modernization path will bring to Syria’s future reconstruction and development?

President Bashar al-Assad:
First, there must be joint projects and friction between Chinese expertise and Syrian expertise in projects of an economic and industrial nature. First, because China a few decades ago was similar to the conditions of many third-world countries, and second because social and value concepts play a fundamental role in the development process. We cannot separate technical development from the social situation, therefore, we can benefit from the Chinese experience in many aspects. Perhaps we cannot benefit in the same way as many Western countries. We have tried, and many countries in our region have tried, to benefit from Western experiences, but they have failed. On the contrary, the results of (those) experiences and imitations may have backfired on those countries.

Question:
In January of last year, Syria announced it is joining the Belt and Road Initiative. We know that Syria is one of the very important countries on the ancient Silk Road. How do you evaluate its importance for global development?

President Bashar al-Assad:
We cannot separate the Belt and Road Initiative from the other initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping, the Global Civilization Initiative, Global Development, and World Security, because there cannot be development without security, and there cannot be development and security if we do not preserve the civilized, moral and cultural aspects of relations between countries. Development cannot mean crushing another country’s identity, this is impossible, therefore, I do not say that this initiative is a Chinese initiative, I say that it has become a global initiative. The Belt and Road is the most important application for this initiative now, but it is necessary to search for an institution or institutions that carries out this aspect and interacts with other institutions. All these initiatives with institutions form a network to turn into a reality application on a global level.

Question:
Syria was one of the richest and most stable countries in the Middle East, and there are Arabic poetic verses known to many Chinese that say: If the paradise of eternity is in one land, then it is Damascus and there is no other land, or if it is in the sky, then it is in it. But now, after more than ten years of war, Syria has not only suffered from war and economic stagnation, but it can be described as devastating, and the people have suffered from many losses and shocks. How do you evaluate the current situation in Syria, and the most important question is: Has the war ended?

President Bashar al-Assad:
No, the war is not over. We are still in the heart of the war currently, but I want to say that Syria, as a geographical location throughout its ancient history, since the history books, is a corridor for invasions, and whenever an occupier comes, it destroys the cities. This is the history of Syria, but it was always rebuilt.

Certainly, the Syrian people are able to rebuild their country when the war stops and the siege ends. The problem is the social effects that can appear. That is, when you lose something material, you rebuild it, but when you lose something intellectually and culturally, it goes away and does not come back.

Now our region faces two types of danger with this war: the danger of modern Western liberalism, which originated in America, and the danger of extremism. So societies are facing two bad things that appear as if they are two different things, but in reality, they are one thing. What we are focusing on now is to be able to preserve values first, and on belonging, because values and belonging are what help us build our nation. When we lose these values, everyone will emigrate, and no one will be ready to defend his country, or the values, in any work that serves society. This is the challenge.

Question:
This means that the biggest obstacle to resolving the Syrian issue for you is the interference of external forces?

President Bashar al-Assad:
Yes, it is a major obstacle. I have previously said several times that if we remove this external interference, the Syrian problem, which seems complicated, is not so. It can be solved in a few months and not in years. This is true.

Question:
There is a serious problem of electrical power shortages in Syria, and the main reason for this problem is the lack of fuel. We know that Syria is very rich in oil and gas resources, and there are a large number of oil fields in the provinces of Al-Hasakah and Der Ezzor. Is this problem directly related to the theft of oil by the American army?

President Bashar al-Assad:
The northeastern region of Syria that is occupied by terrorists is indeed the same one that the Americans supervise, so the issue is not only theft, but rather the issue is a partnership with the terrorists in sharing profits, and it is a problem for a superpower to share with the terrorists. This is the reality in Syria, so we are losing oil and wheat in those areas. We were a country that exported wheat. Now we only have a little wheat. We do not have electricity. How can there be life without electricity? Of course, we have much less than the minimum for life, but this is not enough.

Question:
You also mentioned that the war has not ended, so how do you evaluate the current situation in Syria?

President Bashar al-Assad:
The current situation is definitely not good, it is a bad situation to be clear, because the problem now for the Syrians is a livelihood problem, about the economic situation I mean. The suffering is increasing, and the ability of the Syrian people, who have always had normal relations with various countries of the world, can exchange trade, culture, science, and everything with them, is necessary. This is a necessary interaction for the country to remain prosperous. It is in a state of increasing suffocation by Western countries, but this doesn’t mean we cannot do anything, This is one of the titles of this visit. Here, the support of friendly countries is vital and essential, not necessarily through aid. Aid may be for humanitarian reasons, but I mean to open doors so that the Syrian people, who have ancient capabilities, can build their country, interact, develop, and prosper, We have these capabilities, we do not lack them. It is this type of economic, political, and cultural relations that can open the doors for us to return and start again.

Question:
You mentioned that rebuilding the country may be one of the biggest demands of the Syrian people now. What are your plans and aspirations for rebuilding?

President Bashar al-Assad:
If rebuilding takes place, Syria will have a very great future, and I am not speaking from hypotheses, hopes, or expectations. I am speaking from the situation before the war. Before the war, growth in Syria was at its best, close to 7%, which is a very high percentage for a country with limited capabilities. We did not have debts. We were not a debtor country. We used to take a loan and pay it back directly. We had a sufficient amount of wheat, and we exported wheat to a number of countries, we were exporting vegetables and fruits and we were developing our industries, at the beginning of industrial development when the war began, so I can say with complete confidence that stopping the war and rebuilding Syria will make Syria much better than it was before the war.

Question:
We know that you studied medicine at university and also worked as an ophthalmologist. What prescription would you offer to deal with the difficulties that Syria may face in various aspects, such as reconstruction and development?

President Bashar al-Assad:
Of course, we are now facing an internal challenge related to war and blockade, and we are facing an external challenge related to the global economic situation, the effects of Corona, and the effects of the war in Ukraine. All of these things led to an increase in all prices, in addition to an increase in interest rates on the dollar, which also increased the difficulties for all countries. The basic recipe for such a situation is the transition, not only for Syria but for all countries, which is the transition from dealing with the dollar to other currencies, especially the yuan.

Question:
I think you have noticed the emergence of a wave of reconciliation in the Middle East, in addition to Syria’s return to the Arab League, and with active Chinese mediation, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced the restoration of diplomatic relations. We all know that the Middle East is one of the regions that suffers from the most complex security situation in the world. How do you evaluate the role of China in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East?

President Bashar al-Assad:
As for the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation, it was a very big and unexpected achievement, but it was a very nice surprise, because this problem is four decades old in our region, or a little more, and it represented the Western and specifically American model of creating several problems between several parties and then the United States blackmails these parties from to achieve its interests, and who pays the price? These countries and the region in which those countries live. This initiative was more than just reconciliation between two parties. Let us say that two people who were enemies became friends. No, the issue is an issue of stability. This aspect will reflect positively on all of us in the Middle East because we paid the price for this problem for several decades, and today we feel reassured about this point.

The other side: When China announced this reconciliation, it meant that policy depended on action and not on words, speeches, propaganda, and the empty Western method. There was real political action and it achieved results.

Question:
What is the significance of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi?

President Bashar al-Assad:
We hope that China will continue to play an increasingly political role, as we see continuously, because this political role is inseparable, as we said, from initiatives, including the Global Security Initiative, because it creates stability.

As for these initiatives, we see them as rules for the new world. I say that the era we live in now is an era of transition from an old world to a new world, and I do not mean the old world of several thousand years, but I am talking about the old world that began with the era of colonialism in the fifteenth century with the discovery of America.

From that time until today, there have been six centuries of colonization, killing, and plundering. What do these initiatives mean? It means that politics today in the world is no longer about profit at the expense of others, it is no longer killing, it is no longer occupation, it is the new politics that we need, a politics based on morals, it is a politics based on cooperation, it is a politics based on principles, it is a politics based on mutual profit. Therefore, I say that they are valid principles for a new world that will gradually replace the old world. This is how we see it.

Question:
Your country has gone through life and death moments and you have personally gone through many difficult moments, from the time you became president until today, what has been the greatest spiritual support for you along the way?

President Bashar al-Assad:
The thing that makes you stand the most when the big, rich, or powerful countries of the world are against you is the people only. If the people are not with you in such circumstances, no other party can give you this inspiration to continue fighting in the war, when the war was military, or fighting when the war was economic. today. On the personal level, it is the family, cohesive and committed to its country, and its determination to go through the circumstances, no matter how difficult these circumstances are. This is the most important factor.

Question:
When you were growing up, your father played the role of a strict father in educating his children. What effect did this environment have on you? Now, as a father, when dealing with your three children, what are your basic educational concepts?

President Bashar al-Assad:
In general, Syrian society is an open society that thinks contrary to what some people try to portray as a result of history. When there are different civilizations in a place, a person must be open, and this environment is our family environment like any other Syrian family, but what is different is the stage or relationship between me and my parents and between me and my children is the change in global circumstances. In the days of my parents, when I was young, there was no social media, there were not even satellite channels, and thus the external influence on Syrian culture, thought, and national character was very limited. There were no risks.

Today it is completely the opposite, so I believe that the relationship between me and my children was essentially built on devoting values in the first place, the value of the group and not the Western value of the individual, in addition to national values that are primarily based on adherence to identity. The ability to develop, the ability to interact with other cultures while maintaining the national character. I think these are the challenges we face today as parents with our children.

Question:
I heard that your youngest son is learning Chinese, is this true?

President Bashar al-Assad:
True, he learned Chinese at the beginning of the war, about 7 or 8 years ago or a little more, of course in the form of foundations of the Chinese language. He did not delve into it much, but he identified this language without any influence. He wanted to learn about something that was far away from him. There is a lot about it as a language and as a culture.

Question:
Your trip to China is almost over, what is the biggest gain from this trip? How do you summarize this trip to China?

President Bashar al-Assad:
In this visit, we took advantage of the great role that China played over the past ten years, with economic development, political initiatives, and the development, of the role of President Xi Jinping, to reach a visit that I can say was very fruitful, and I believe that it was a truly and truly successful visit by all standards.

Question:
Thank you very much for accepting our interview and thank you for sharing your experiences, feelings, and thoughts with us. We also hope that roses will bloom in all parts of Damascus as soon as possible so that peace will prevail in Syria. Thank you.

President Bashar al-Assad:
Thank you for this important opportunity to address the Chinese people through your channel and your program. I want to congratulate the Chinese people for everything they have achieved over the past decades and have proven that they are great people, not in words but in deeds. We hope to see China achieve its ambitions at the national level and at the international level, which are the ambitions of most of the countries of the world today. Thank you for this meeting.

End of the transcript.


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