Date: November 11, 2019

It all started with a single tweet. To learn more, listen to this episode of Today Explained, a daily podcast from Vox:…

In October 2019, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. In reaction, the Chinese government censored NBA broadcasts in China, and Chinese companies suspended business deals with the world's premiere basketball league. As the controversy spun out of control, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Houston Rockets star James Harden, and NBA All-Star LeBron James were all asked for their opinion on the growing crisis. In this video, we dive deep into the relevant history that led to this critical moment.

For decades, the NBA has been pushing a business strategy to attract fans in China, where basketball is more popular than in the United States. At the same time, the government of the United States has been pursuing a trade policy with China intended to generate profit for American businesses while simultaneously exposing Chinese consumers and businesses to ideas of democracy and free speech through the transactional dynamics of globalization. Originally, the hope of US leaders like President Bill Clinton was that this trade would lead to the democratization of China. What China's fight with the NBA shows is that the opposite seems to be occurring.

Date: Nov 11 2019
By: Natasha Turak

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — China’s heavy-handed response to an NBA general manager’s comments on the turbulent protests in Hong Kong represents a violation of U.S. sovereignty, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during a panel event in the United Arab Emirates capital on Monday.

“When China says to the NBA, the National Basketball Association, ‘your general manager cannot say something about what’s going on in Hong Kong,’ now that’s a violation of American sovereignty, because Americans have the right to say what they please,” Rice told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (Adipec).

“And so I think this has become something of a problem between the two countries, it’s not going to go away, it’s certainly not going to go away in Congress, where I think people are holding back on sanctions but worried that they may have to put them forward.”

Rice’s comments refer to Beijing’s harsh response to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who in early October tweeted an image that read, “Fight for Freedom. Stand for Hong Kong.”

The N.B.A. is the latest entertainment giant to incite nationalist anger in China, where political submission has become the price of admission to a market of 1.4 billion.

The New York Times
Date: Oct. 13, 2019
By: Steven Lee Myers and Chris Buckley

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers going to the basket against the Brooklyn Nets in a preseason match in Shanghai on Thursday.CreditCreditHector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

BEIJING — Back in the Cold War, the sclerotic Soviet system proved no match for the lure of American soft power: bluejeans, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, Coca-Cola, Hollywood. All became symbols of American freedom and prosperity that no amount of communist prohibitions could stop.

Today, China poses a far more formidable yet lucrative challenge for some of the most famous icons of American culture — Apple, Disney, Lady Gaga, and lately the National Basketball Association. Selling the best of American creativity and talent increasingly demands submission to the views of the Communist Party as the price of admission.

A recent furor that began with a single tweet by an N.B.A. executive in support of the Hong Kong protests has underscored the consequences of China’s willingness to use its vast economic clout to police any political values that threaten the party’s legitimacy or its policies.

It is the soft power of cultural vitality — as opposed to the hard, coercive power of military might — that makes the United States admirable in the eyes of much of the world, including China. The companies and organizations that produce much of this culture, however, have had to increasingly bend to China’s political will under its leader, Xi Jinping, whose ambition is to make his country a counterweight, if not an alternative, to the United States.

Amid this new world order, the expectation that American music, movies and entertainment will coax China closer toward the liberal values of its Western rival — or at least build good will, as it did in the Soviet Union — has dimmed.    [FULL  STORY]

'You're a loser, I'm a winner' said gold medalist Sun Yang, at World Aquatic Championships in South Korea

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/07/24
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Chinese swimmer with a record of doping caught media attention this week after an outburst targeting a fellow competitor at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Chinese swimmer, Sun Yang, lashed out at British swimmer, Duncan Scott, on Wednesday (July 23) during the award ceremony for the 200 m free style yelling “I’m a winner, you’re a loser” at Scott from the winner’s podium. Sun is currently awaiting an arbitration hearing in September over recent allegations of continued doping, but has still been permitted to compete.

Sun was upset because Scott failed to congratulate him on his gold medal victory, and declined to share the podium with him as a sign of solidarity with Australian swimmer Mack Horton, who made the same gesture of protest the day before (July 22).

Horton came in second place behind Sun in Monday’s 400 m freestyle competition. Horton chose to snub Sun’s victory and refused to share the podium as a way to protest Sun’s participation in the World Aquatics Championships, after he was previously banned for doping in 2014.