Shanghaiist reports that ESPN is joining many other American companies in trying to stay in good graces with the Chinese government.
On a Sportscenter segment on Wednesday covering the current NBA-China saga, the sports channel used a Beijing-friendly graphic to depict the country.
ESPN displayed a map of China which included the nine-dash line out into the South China Sea, as well as Taiwan and the Arunachal Pradesh region.
The segment can be found here:
This map is routinely used in China, but rarely abroad. Above all, in neighboring states.
The nine-dash line was first established in 1947 and claims sovereignty over a massive portion of the South China Sea where countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam had competing claims.
Additionally, China claims sovereignty over the Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh, which is technically under India’s jurisdiction. In 2017, China took it to another level by renaming districts in this region, which it calls “South Tibet.”
Similarly, Taiwan is another area that has been in dispute since China’s successful Communist revolution.
China has emphasized promoting this map, threatening to fine those who make, display, or sell maps that do not conform to Chinese standards.
Foreign companies have also been subject to this standard. In 2018, American clothing retailer the Gap apologized for a t-shirt design that did not have Taiwan in a map of China.
This past week, an internal memo was sent to ESPN employees warning them to not talk about China-Hong Kong politics, when addressing China’s firm response to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting the Hong Kong protests.
While China escaped the destructiveness of Maoism and started to modernize in the 1980s, its authoritarian tendencies remain strong. In fact, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the country seems to be reverting back to its authoritarian past. This is of great concern when considering America’s corporate interactions with the country. By conducting business in China for extensive periods of time, these interactions with Chinese corporate culture and the state tend to make American companies more receptive to authoritarian practices which they can import back home.
Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation
Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.
Under The Background Check Expansion Act, gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House
“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.
According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.
Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms.
Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.
Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race.
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