Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China was happy to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reelected in a press briefing Friday. Assad reportedly won the vote by 95.1%.
A reporter from Russian RIA Novosti news organization asked Lijian: “Has China sent a congratulatory message to President Assad?”
“China congratulates President Bashar on his re-election,” Lijian replied. “This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Syria featured by longstanding friendship. China firmly supports Syria’s efforts in safeguarding its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and stands ready to work with Syria to take the 65th anniversary as an opportunity to achieve new progress in our friendly cooperation.”
Back when President Biden won the election, China was hesitant to congratulate him. The country eventually did, ten days later. Former President Trump received his congratulatory message the very next day after the election.
While China did not question the overwhelming majority that reportedly voted for Assad, people on Twitter sounded off. Editor of Syria in Context news site Emma Beals tweeted that there was “no attempt to even pretend it’s legit.”
Others on Twitter even suggested that his true opponents weren’t permitted to vote.
Many videos circulated on the platform to demonstrate the corruption of counting the ballots. Al-Monitor journalist Asaad Hanna shared one such video.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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VIDEO: Chinese military plane comes ‘dangerously’ close to U.S. aircraft over South China Sea
The United States Army recorded and released unnerving video of a close encounter with a Chinese jet over the South China Sea. The Chinese military plane came “dangerously” close to the U.S. military aircraft in the international airspace last week, the U.S. military announced on Thursday.
US, Chinese jets in close encounter over South China Sea pic.twitter.com/X8fbV84neF
— PressTV Extra (@PresstvExtra) December 29, 2022
The Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), the command responsible for overseeing U.S. operations in the area, said in a statement that the encounter occurred on December 21, during which a Chinese Navy J-11 fighter jet flew within 10 feet (3 meters) of a U.S. Air Force RC-135, a reconnaissance plane with about 30 people on board.
According to a U.S. military spokesperson, the Chinese jet came within 10 feet of the airplane’s wing, but 20 feet from its nose, causing the U.S. aircraft to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.
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