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China Pushes Back, Vows Retaliation After Trump Signs Hong Kong Support Bills

Beijing is raging, and that could spell trouble for the United States.

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The United States and China have long been at odds on the world’s stage, at least in certain aspects of their shared relationship, but it appears as though things are about to take a turn for the worse.

For months now, Donald Trump and his administration have been working to negotiate a trade deal with China, who has one of the globe’s most profound economic footprints due to their willingness to forego morality and ethics when it comes to their labor laws.  China has not responded kindly to Trump’s attempts to even the playing field, leaving a great many American farmers with nowhere to send their goods.

Now,  US resolutions supporting the rights of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have Beijing enraged, and vowing to retaliate against the United States.

The bills were signed as Hong Kong continues to be gripped by turmoil amid widespread discontent over Chinese rule in the special administrative region. Chinese officials had hoped Trump would veto the bill and the president had expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China’s President Xi Jinping.

Trending: French President Issues Scathing Statement on ‘Stolen’ Footage Meant to Embarrass Trump

“Look, we have to stand with Hong Kong,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” last week, later adding: “But I’m also standing with President Xi. He’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy.”

China was furious.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said earlier this month the act undermines both American and Chinese interests in Hong Kong.

“We urge the U.S. to grasp the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late, prevent this act from becoming law [and] immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,” Geng said at the time, adding: “If the U.S. continues to make the wrong moves, China will be taking strong countermeasures for sure.”

On Thursday, a foreign ministry statement described Trump’s signing of the bills as a “hegemonic act,” repeated heated condemnations of the law and vows that China would take “firm countermeasures.” The statement also claimed that all the people of Hong Kong and China oppose the move, but did not specify how Beijing would respond.

Hong Kong’s protests arose after China looked to install a controversial extradition law some months ago, and the action has consistently been devolving over time.  There are near-constant accusations that China is employing undue force against these protesters, with many believing that their human rights have been violated.

 

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NBA Star LeBron James Calls Freedom of Speech ‘Negative,’ Slams Pro-Democracy Supporters

NBA star LeBron James was seen slamming freedom of speech and supporters of democracy in order to protect the NBA’s big-money deals with China.

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NBA star LeBron James likes to parade himself as the NBA’s most progressive liberal, but in comments on Monday he was seen slamming freedom of speech and supporters of democracy in order to protect the NBA’s big-money deals with the oppressive Chinese government.

In comments to the press late on Monday, the L.A. Lakers star and king of the “woke” NBA, took a swipe at freedom of speech, calling it a “negative” thing.

He then went on to slam Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey for a tweet in support of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Jams called Morey “misinformed” and “uneducated” for his support of democracy.

“’m not here to judge how the league handled the situation,” the left-wing player said on Monday night. “I just think that, when you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something – and I’m just talking about the tweet itself – you never know the ramifications that can happen. We all see what that did, not only did for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through the things that you say that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of people. I think that’s just a prime example of that.”

James comments come a week after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted a message reading, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

The NBA came down on Morey like a ton of bricks and forced him to delete the tweet and apologize because his support of the Hong Kong democrats threatened the NBA’s big-money deals with the oppressive Chinese government.

Since then one NBA star after another has refused to address the massive human rights abuses in China even as they all are so quick to slam the USA as the worst country in the world.

But according to a recent report at Human Rights Watch, China is still one of the worst abusers of human rights in the world. In its 2018 report, the organization reported that China has “dramatically stepped up repression and systematic abuses against the 13 million Turkic Muslims, including Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region.”

“Authorities have carried out mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of some of them in various detention facilities, and increasingly imposed pervasive controls on daily life,” HRW wrote. “New regulations in Tibet now criminalize even traditional forms of social action, including community mediation by religious figures. In Hong Kong, a region promised ‘a high degree of autonomy’ under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the Chinese and Hong Kong governments hastened their efforts in 2018 to undermine people’s rights to free speech and political participation.”

HRW also reiterated China’s oppression of its homosexual citizens, refugees, asylum seekers, women, and girls, and that is not to even mention its actions against Tibet.

This is the country that the NBA is falling all over itself to support.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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NBA Pulls Mic Away From Reporter For Asking Question About China Controversy

Terrible look for the NBA.

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NBA Pulls Mic Away From Reporter For Asking Question About China Controversy

The Houston Rockets shut down a CNN reporter asking players about NBA-China situation: ‘Basketball questions only.’

CNN reporter Christina Macfarlane asked James Harden and Russell Westbrook if they felt restricted from speaking out about current events.

“The NBA has always been a league that prides itself on its players and its coaches being able to speak out openly about political and societal affairs,” Macfarlane said. “I just wonder after the events of this week and the fallout we’ve seen, whether you both feel differently about speaking out in that way in the future?”

I sincerely doubt that the NBA rep suddenly decided to do that on her own. My guess is she probably had been told not to allow any questions about anything other than the game. She followed instructions and then got thrown under the bus when the incident went viral online.

Twitter users chime in:

 

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NBA’s China Debacle Has League Curtailing Players’ Free Speech

China’s influence on American media is far more prevalent than you would think, because no one is allowed to talk about it.

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The 21st century is providing our global culture with all manner of shifting sands, particularly as it pertains to our consumer-based economic system.

Capitalism tends to operate fairly predictably when we’re talking about the refining, export, and import of hard goods and resources.  It becomes a science, watching costs on spreadsheets and predicting your competitors’ maneuvers, making this sort of trade a simple, mathematical certainty.

But when it comes to exploring culture and media, where the value is far more objective and subjective, the power lies completely within the consumer’s wallet.  If it doesn’t land well with the general populace, it isn’t worth much, and the market adjusts erratically.

Or, if the consumer finds itself annoyed with the manufacturer, a boycott could occur.

This is precisely what China is currently involved in, as they threaten to cut off their vast viewer population from the NBA over comments made by one of the team’s coaches on the subject of Hong Kong.

What’s worse?  China seems to be winning this economic fight, and Americans’ freedom of speech is taking a hit on account of that.

NBA players have been unusually quiet on China since the nation started severing ties with the league. That may stem from the private advice they are getting from sports agents to tread lightly — or avoid discussing it entirely — if they are asked about the uproar over Hong Kong.

“What I told my guys is, ‘Don’t even talk about it,’” said one sports agent, who asked not to be identified because of the politically sensitive nature of the issue. “I think it’s a fine line, and when you’re walking that fine line, it’s best to not even play around with it.”

NBA players and officials have been walking that line since Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Friday, according to interviews with players, league officials and sports agents. The tweet, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” has since been deleted. But it’s touched off a political and economic firestorm between the NBA and its partners in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Comedy Central cartoon South Park recently addressed the issue of Chinese influence on American media during an episode entitled “Band in China”.  Subsequently and unsurprisingly, South Park was banned in China several hours after the episode aired.
 

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Beijing Sends Stern Warning to ‘Global Brands’ Not to Criticize Chinese Government

We The People will be watching these developments closely.

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This week has been a strange one for the relationship between the United States and China, thanks in no small part to South Park and the NBA.

First, the animated Comedy Central staple poked fun at China’s seeming ability to control the global narrative through the sheer power of their consumer base.  Then, as South Park has a tendency to do, life began to imitate the art when China banned the television program from the nation’s internet.

Now, a second major US brand is bowing to the Communist dictatorship, this time from the wide world of sports.

The Chinese government newspaper Global Times warned “global brands” to “make their members speak cautiously” on Chinese political issues Monday in response to an ongoing controversy following an NBA executive lending support to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey triggered a Communist Party-fabricated firestorm this weekend by simply tweeting “fight for freedom; stand with Hong Kong,” a message intended to lend support to the peaceful anti-communist movement that has held regular protests there since June.

Following condemnation from the Communist Party and its puppets in Chinese society, social media, and the NBA, the NBA itself issued a statement also condemning Morey for simply challenging the dogma of a country currently maintaining a million-strong concentration camp population. The NBA has established a training camp in the same province as the concentration camps.

China didn’t stop there, however.

In an article published Monday titled “Global Brands Better Stay Away from Politics,” the Global Times warned Americans, and international actors, that Chinese authoritarian speech restrictions now apply worldwide and any protests in the name of free speech are “ridiculous.”

“Daryl Morey, general manager of the NBA team the Houston Rockets, has obviously gotten himself into trouble,” the article lamented, calling Morey’s skill at his job “simply too poor” for challenging an authoritarian regime.

“Commercial and cultural organizations which engage in transnational operations should manage their attitudes and statements over sensitive issues. Impulsive words can easily trigger a backlash,” the newspaper advised. “Respecting customers is a universal business rule. Morey has to choose between safeguarding his individual freedom of speech and protecting the Rockets’ commercial interests by respecting the feelings of Chinese fans. When he opted for the former, the Rockets will have to make a second choice from the perspective of the team.”

Now American businesses are at a crossroads:  Show loyalty to the Constitution of the United States, or neuter themselves at the behest of Beijing?

We The People will be watching these developments closely.

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‘South Park’ Ridicules Chinese Censors, China then Deletes ‘South Park’ from Chinese Internet

The most recent episode of ‘South Park’ takes brutal aim at Chinese censors, In reply, the Chinese government deleted ‘South Park’ on the Chinese Internet.

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The most recent episode of South Park takes brutal aim at Chinese censors, In reply, the Chinese government deleted South Park from the Chinese Internet.

Last week’s episode of South Park took direct aim at Hollywood’s habit of bowing to Chinese censors even though here in America they bray about their “artistic integrity.”

In the episode, Stan Marsh is approached by a Chinese film company when his heavy metal rock band begins turning heads. The Chinese filmmakers say that they think his group is the next big thing in music, and they want to make a biopic about the band’s beginning.

Stan agrees and soon the band is filming its story with the help of a Chinese film company. But at nearly every turn, Stan and his band find the Chinese censors telling them what they can and can’t say, especially when it comes to describing the United States as a land of freedom.

“You got to lower your ideals of freedom if you want to suck on the warm teat of China,” the American director working for the Chinese film company tells Stan and his crew.

When Stan complains about being forced to rewrite the story the kids are trying to tell, the director takes aim at Hollywood for allowing China to censor everything without complaints.

“Come on, guys,” the film producer says to the boys. “Everyone else is fine with China approving our entertainment. Even the PC Babies don’t seem to mind. And PC Babies cry about everything!”

Eventually Stan quits the film because he can’t stand the censorship.

As it happens, China was not amused by all South Park’s hilarity.

As The Hollywood Reporter wrote:

Now, those very same government censors, in the real world, have lashed back at South Park by deleting virtually every clip, episode and online discussion of the show from Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages.

A cursory perusal through China’s highly regulated Internet landscape shows the show conspicuously absent everywhere it recently had a presence. A search of the Twitter-like social media service Weibo turns up not a single mention of South Park among the billions of past posts. On streaming service Youku, owned by Internet giant Alibaba, all links to clips, episodes and even full seasons of the show are now dead.

Looks like the communist Chinese have struck back.

Still, South Park is having the last laugh:

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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