BEIJING, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday sent a congratulatory message to Bashar al-Assad over the latter's re-election as president of Syria.

In his message, Xi pointed out that China and Syria enjoy a traditional friendship, and Syria is one of the first Arab countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.

He said he attaches great importance to the development of China-Syria relations, and stands ready to work with Assad to take the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties this year as an opportunity to strive for greater achievements in China-Syria relations.

China, he added, firmly supports Syria in safeguarding its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and will provide as much assistance as its capacity allows for Syria in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, revitalizing its economy and improving the people's well-being, so as to continuously lift China-Syria cooperation to new levels.