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CCP congratulates Assad on winning recent election by 95%

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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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Analysis: Biden unlikely to sanction Iran’s oil exports, gas prices ‘critical during an election year’

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Analysts say President Joe Biden is unlikely to “prompt dramatic sanctions action on Iran’s oil exports” due to “worries about boosting oil prices and angering top buyer China” according to Reuters.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, House Republican Representative Steve Scalise, said the administration had made it easier for Iran to sell its oil, generating revenues that were being used to “go fund terrorist activity.”

The Biden administration has maintained for months that among its primary goals is to keep the Gaza conflict between terror group Hamas and Israel from turning into a wider regional war. However, House Republican leaders accused President Joe Biden of failing to enforce existing measures and said they would take up this week a series of bills to sharpen sanctions on Iran.

Kimberly Donovan, a sanctions and anti-money laundering expert at the Atlantic Council, said that oil-related sanctions have not been strictly enforced in the past couple of years.

“I would not expect the administration to tighten enforcement in response to Iran’s missile and drone attacks against Israel over the weekend, mainly for concerns (that) could lead to increases in oil prices,” she said.

“The price of oil and ultimately the prices of gas at the pump become critical during an election year.”
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