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Chinese envoy to press Syria for cease-fire
Chinese envoy to press Syrian officials for cease-fire as Beijing opposes outside intervention
By The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) ' China's special envoy is to press Syrian authorities for a cease-fire to halt the country's bloodshed even as Beijing remains firmly opposed to any foreign intervention in the Mideast nation.

Li Huaqing, China's former ambassador to Syria, is to meet government officials during a two-day visit, starting Tuesday. However, he is not expected to meet rebels seeking to overthrow authoritarian President Bashar Assad.

China has remained a key Syrian ally throughout the 11-month uprising seeking Assad's ouster. As international outrage over Assad's deadly crackdown on dissent has grown, China and Russia have protected Syria from condemnation by the U.N. Security Council.

Both countries fear such a step could lead to military intervention against Assad as it did last year against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.

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