China said it may limit its “counterproliferation” work with Washington over U.S. steps to punish an accused violator of Iran sanctions, Reuters reports.
China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said Beijing “resolutely opposes” new U.S. actions to target Li Fangwei, a Chinese entrepreneur described by the Treasury Department as a “known proliferator for Iran’s ballistic missile program.” Treasury on Tuesday announced penalties against eight firms operated by Li, and the State Department announced a $5 million bounty in a bid to detain him, Reuters reported separately.
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday accused Li of evading prior U.S. penalties through an expanding array of front firms, the Wall Street Journal reported. They seized $6.9 million in money linked to the alleged proliferator, according to Reuters.
David Cohen, Treasury Department under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the United States “will continue vigorously to enforce [its] sanctions, even as we explore the possibility of a comprehensive deal addressing Iran’s nuclear program.”
Beijing is one of five governments working with Washington in an ongoing multilateral dialogue on Iran’s nuclear program. Washington and other Western governments hope the talks will lead to long-term limits on Iran’s weapon-usable nuclear activities, though Tehran insists its atomic intentions are peaceful.
“The U.S. [actions against Li] won’t help solve the problem and will also impair our nonproliferation cooperation,” the Journal quoted foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying. “We urge the U.S. to stop sanctions of companies and individuals and come back to the right track of nonproliferation cooperation.”
He added that Beijing closely monitors its own trade rules and would “seriously deal” with any breaches, Reuters reported.
Li has asserted innocence in the past, but he was unavailable on Tuesday to respond to the latest U.S. actions.
What We're Following See More »
It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”
It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.
Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.
UPDATED: Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) will not be playing the role of Ralph Nader in this year’s election. Speaking in Dallas today, Webb said, “We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically, it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run.”