By KEN MORITSUGU
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that China and Syria will announce a strategic partnership as he kicked off a series of diplomatic meetings ahead of the opening of the Asian Games on Saturday. Xi met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, which is hosting the sports competition. Assad is looking for ways to emerge from the international isolation brought on by a brutal war at home that shows no sign of ending after 12 years. The Syrian leader will attend the opening ceremony along with the king of Cambodia, the crown prince of Kuwait and the prime ministers of Nepal, East Timor and South Korea.