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CNN “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper blasted the NBA, Hollywood entertainers, and others for continuing to coddle up to and do business with China despite that country’s horrific human rights record and authoritarian Communist regime.
Tapper’s criticism came during his program’s closing monologue segment after he first praised the Women’s Tennis Association for canceling events previously scheduled in China due to concerns over the safety of tennis star Peng Shuai, who has accused China’s former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. In addition, the WTA and others are concerned that Peng can’t speak freely as Beijing works to censor her claims.
The CNN host pointed to the WTA’s actions in protest of Chinese brutality as being much stronger than any actions by the International Olympic Committee ahead of China’s hosting of the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. The IOC says its officials have had a conversation with Peng, but as Tapper noted, the committee has not publicly announced support for her while going on to accuse them of “behaving like a mob lawyer” and trying to cover up China’s abusive behavior.
He went on to say that the Trump and Biden administrations “have asserted that China is committing … genocide and crimes against humanity against more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Hui, other Muslims, some Christians, in internment camps, or converted detention facilities, according to the U.S. State Department.”
“Yes, the Olympics are supposed to be free and without politics,” said the host. “But this is not about politics. The allegations against the Chinese government go far beyond its treatment of Shuai.”
The host noted further that the Communist government is accused of engaging in cultural genocide against the Uighur population in the Xinjiang province before adding that Beijing is also being cited for crimes against humanity in detainment camps. He then turned his attention to U.S. companies that are profiting from Chinese slave labor or who refrain from calling out the regime’s human rights abuses.
“Of course, Apple and Nike publicly claim to decry slave labor,” Tapper said. “But to be clear, the behavior we are seeing from U.S. corporations is not about a company surviving. It’s about discontent with just hundreds of millions of dollars, desiring instead billions of dollars.”
He went on to play a clip of Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates who compared the Chinese government to a “strict parent.”
He closed his monologue segment by ticking off a number of examples where Hollywood entertainers and production companies deferred to China by going to great lengths not to offend the regime. Tapper said everything comes back to a belief that “the millionaires and billionaires of Hollywood and the NBA and the IOC and Wall Street are all so eager for Chinese cash, they’re pretending none of this is happening.”
“There is no amount of money that can buy enough soap to wash that blood off their hands,” Tapper concluded.
Others have been critical of China as well recently, including Enes Kanter Freedom of the NBA’s Boston Celtics. He has repeatedly blasted China over its human rights abuses while calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator.” He has also stood in solidarity with Taiwan.
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