February 19, 2022

OUT ON A LIMB: The Chinese Communist Party always medals in moral corruption.

Profiteering off China’s regime isn’t new, but these Olympics raise broader implications. The CCP intentionally wields the profit motive as a tool to co-opt foreigners and foreign corporations into plowing capital and know-how into the Chinese market, for the regime’s benefit. Mr. Xi even has a term for the practice: “dual circulation,” in which the CCP lures foreigners to become more dependent on China while simultaneously working to reduce Chinese companies’ dependence on the outside world. Meanwhile, the Party allows a few lucky foreigners to make piles of cash. In return, these individuals serve as witting — or in some cases, unwitting — propagandists for the regime.

US corporations are starting to awaken to the impossible situation that they’ve put themselves in. By investing in Xi’s China, they’ve signed up for Beijing’s rules, which exist to prop up the regime at all costs. Their bets on China expose these companies to intellectual property theft, reputational harm and physical threats to their employees. Thus NBC News, which broadcasted the Games, tried to walk a fine line between ignoring the regime’s human rights abuses and criticizing the communists too harshly. The conundrum resulted in some truly cringe-worthy discussions, including one panel in which one China “expert” sanitized his commentary and made pains to present the CCP’s point of view of the Uighur genocide.

The 2022 Olympics felt far too much like the 1936 Olympics — but without Jesse Owens.

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