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Syria crisis: China hosts Assad aide

14 August 2012 Last updated at 09:40 BST

China is preparing to host an envoy from Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and is signalling it may also receive members of the opposition.

The diplomatic development comes as the fighting in Syria appears to have reached a new level of intensity.

Rebels say they can now fight attacks from the air after shooting down a jet and capturing the pilot - a claim the government denies.

Susana Mendonsa reports.