GT Voice: Noise hindering China-US economic ties needs to be avoided

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In a letter to the National Basketball Players Association on Tuesday, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) called on American basketball players to end endorsement deals with Chinese sportswear companies including Anta and Li-Ning that use cotton sourced from Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

GT Voice: Noise hindering China-US economic ties needs to be avoided

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“We believe that commercial relationships with companies that source cotton in Xinjiang create reputational risks for NBA players and the NBA itself,” the letter said, according to media reports.

The so-called issue of “forced labor” in Xinjiang is a maliciously fabricated lie, and those who hit out at China over the Xinjiang issue have consistently failed to provide any evidence.

But sometimes truth is the least thing for some anti-China forces to care about, who would rather use false political charges to tamper with business ethics, inciting conflict between high-profile commercial groups and the Chinese market.

The NBA and its stars, with their high popularity in the Chinese market, are probably the latest target.

This is because the CECC move has put the NBA in the spotlight, an awkward position given the tension between China and the US over Xinjiang issues. Such political risks are what the league and all other multinational corporations that have great economic interests in China have been trying to avoid.

It is no secret that China is the NBA’s most important overseas market. The past year saw the US basketball league make various gestures of goodwill to win back goodwill from the Chinese market. Last month, the NBA participated in the China International Consumer Products Expo in a sign to strengthen communication with the Chinese market. The US league also participated in the third China International Import Expo in November 2020 in Shanghai.

The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, said in September the league’s long-standing engagement in China continued to have a “net positive” impact on the mutual understanding between the two countries, according to media reports.

It would be regrettable if the NBA’s efforts were to be derailed by the interference of CECC.

Some politicians have never become tired of accusing others of giving too much weight to China-related economic interests, but there is nothing wrong in cherishing business opportunities in China. In fact, it would be foolish of those who abandon the lucrative Chinese market for some unaffordable political games.

Fundamentally speaking, even though China-US relations have encountered difficulties, economic and trade cooperation remains a relatively stable aspect in bilateral ties.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Wednesday held a virtual meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, marking the second conversation between senior trade and economic officials from the two countries in less than a week. During the meeting, the two sides agreed that the China-US economic relationship is “very important,” according to a statement published by the Xinhua News Agency.

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In this context, both sides need to avoid unnecessary noise to create a positive environment for future dialogue.

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Source : China | Photocredit : Google

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