BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday sent a message of sympathy to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the Syrian first couple's infections with COVID-19.

In his message, Xi said that after learning President Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad have tested positive for COVID-19, he and his wife Peng Liyuan extend sympathy to them and wish them a speedy recovery.

The Chinese government and people firmly support the anti-epidemic efforts of the Syrian government and people, Xi said, expressing belief that under the leadership of President Assad, the Syrian people will surely defeat COVID-19.