The NBA is holding “ongoing business discussions” with China Central Television, the Chinese Communist Party’s chief propaganda network known for airing forced confessions of domestic dissidents.
The league told Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) in a March 30 letter that it is exploring a renewed partnership with the regime’s television organ. While the NBA has yet to finalize a deal for the 2021 season, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum wrote, the two sides are in “ongoing business discussions.” Tatum also revealed that NBA China CEO Michael Ma—whose father served as a top executive for CCTV Sports—is taking an “active role” in the negotiations.
The state-run network has attracted widespread criticism for its crucial role in advancing CCP propaganda. CCTV regularly airs forced confessions from journalists, human rights activists, and other dissidents. It has also likened pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters to ISIS militants. In 2018, the network dismissed China’s Xinjiang-based internment camps—where more than one million Uyghur Muslims are subject to forced labor—as “vocational centers” aimed at boosting employment.
Blackburn condemned the NBA for entering negotiations with the state-run network “at the same time when American companies like H&M and Nike are turning away from China and refusing to employ Xinjiang slave labor.”
“The NBA is attempting to cut a deal to air games on the same station that regularly broadcasts Communist propaganda and forced prisoner confessions,” she told the Washington Free Beacon.
SOLAR-POWERED MEANS SLAVE-POWERED: Solar Industry’s Reliance on Chinese Forced Labor Threatens Biden’s Green Economy.
An unlikely coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and labor leaders are concerned by the solar industry’s dependence on goods linked to Chinese forced labor camps, a development that threatens President Joe Biden’s push for a green energy economy.
Western China’s Xinjiang region—where China is forcing more than a million Uyghurs into brutal forced labor regimes—dominates the solar sector’s supply chain. Nearly half of the world’s polysilicon, a raw material crucial to producing solar cells, comes from Xinjiang. That economic dependency is attracting the attention of a bipartisan group of lawmakers and union heads, who cite credible reports linking the solar industry to the modern-day slavery regime.
The first volley came from AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. A top Biden ally whose union spent millions backing Democrats in 2020, Trumka called on the White House to block solar product imports from Xinjiang due to “convincing evidence of systematic forced labor” in a March letter. Weeks later, a group of eight GOP senators unveiled the Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act, which would prohibit the use of federal funds to purchase solar panels “manufactured or assembled in Communist China.”