Rear Admiral Guan Youfei (C), director of Foreign Affairs Office of China's National Defence Ministry, speaks during annual working-level talks with South Korea at the Defence Ministry in Seoul on January 15, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE
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A top Chinese military officer visited Syria this week in a show of support for President Bashar Assad's embattled government, official media reported Thursday, underscoring Beijing's backing of fellow authoritarian governments and concerns about the spread of religious militancy.Xinhua said Guan expressed China's willingness to boost military cooperation with Syria, while the newspaper Global Times cited the Chinese Defense Ministry as saying that both sides agreed to expand personnel training and humanitarian aid via the Chinese military.Guan is head of the Office for International Military Cooperation under the Central Military Commission that oversees China's 2.3 million-member armed forces.Although China wants to expand government-to-government and military-to-military cooperation, it's unlikely to provide substantial military support, much less send personnel to fight on behalf of the government, Wang said.
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