From sports to entertainment to politics, several prominent Americans have kissed the ring of Xi Jinping
Many of the world’s most high-profile cultural, political, and business powerhouses are willing to downplay or outright ignore China’s human abuses, which both the Trump and Biden administrations have said includes committing genocide against the Uyghur population.
Even amid calls for the U.S. and other countries to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, China can still depend on friendly treatment from around the globe, including from high-profile Americans.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who hasn’t hesitated to take shots at Republican legislators and even Kyle Rittenhouse, has faced criticism for his posture toward the Chinese Communist Party.
“I’m not here to judge how the league handled the situation,” James initially said in a scrum with reporters in October of last year. “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.”
World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization’s coziness with the CCP has been a recurring story line of the COVID-19 pandemic, right from the start. On Feb. 4, 2020, the WHO warned against banning travel to and from China even as COVID-19 cases surged past 20,000. In the ensuing months, the WHO was quick to steer critics away from accusations of a cover-up, praising the CCP’s response instead.
Similar to Nike, Apple has faced many controversies over the company’s labor choices when it comes to overseas manufacturing in China.
Between sweatshop accusations, noxious fumes, and factory suicides, Apple has struggled to quell concerns of its supply chain practices.
The company’s closeness with the Chinese government, including in its data operations, has also alarmed human rights advocates for years.
JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon recently made headlines after he apologized for a joke about the CCP.
“I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year – so is JPMorgan,” Dimon said during an interview at Boston College last week. “I’d make a bet that we last longer.”
“I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company,” he added.
A JPMorgan spokesperson emphasized that Dimon “acknowledges he should not speak lightly or disrespectfully about another country or its leadership” and “strongly supports a constructive and detailed economic dialogue with China.”
The reversal comes after Dimon made a visit to Hong Kong last week, his first since the COVID-19 pandemic began. During the 32-hour visit, Dimon stirred up controversy when he was able to skip quarantine after being granted an exemption by the Hong Kong government. Visitors typically are quarantined in a hotel for two to three weeks at their own cost.
Recently, Dimon has looked to expand the investment bank’s business in China. In March, JPMorgan announced a 10% stake in China Merchant Bank’s wealth management unit. JPMorgan also received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission in August to become the first full foreign owner of a securities brokerage in the country.