Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defended the NBA doing business with China despite growing reports of human rights violations on Monday during an interview with Megyn Kelly.
Cuban said he is “ok doing business with China” and “we have to pick our battles” when she questioned him repeatedly about forced abortions, the targeting of Muslim minorities and other reported abuses by the Chinese communist government, The Hill reports.
“China is not the only country with human rights violations,” Cuban said.
New reports surfaced earlier this year about a mass genocide against the minority Uyghur population in China. Experts estimate more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims have been imprisoned in concentration camps, and thousands of mothers have been forced to abort their unborn babies through all nine months of pregnancy.
A doctor who escaped to Turkey after working for the Chinese Communist Party recently admitted to participating in nearly 600 forced abortions, forced sterilizations and other coercive family planning measures to curtail the minority Uyghur population.
Kelly asked Cuban about these reports, noting how the NBA recently accepted $500 million from China.
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Cuban told her that he opposes human rights violations around the world, but he puts “a priority on domestic issues.”
When Kelly asked if that includes what is happening in China, he answered: “Yes, including China. Any human rights violations anywhere are wrong.” Cuban mentioned human rights abuse allegations in Turkey and Africa as examples.
Here’s more from their conversation from The Hill:
“Why would the NBA take $500 million dollars-plus from a country that is engaging in ethnic cleansing?” Kelly later asked.
“So basically, you’re saying nobody should do business with China ever,” Cuban retorted.
“Why won’t you just answer my question?” she replied.
“Because they are a customer,” he said. “They are a customer of ours, and guess what, Megyn? I’m OK with doing business with China. And so we have to pick our battles. I wish we could solve all the world’s problems. But we can’t.”
The NBA is not alone. Disney also faced criticism for doing business with China when it filmed its live-action version of “Mulan.” In the credits, the filmmakers thanked Chinese government agencies connected to massive human rights abuses, including forced abortions, in the Xinjiang province.
Pro-life leaders have been exposing horrific human rights abuses under China’s one child policy for decades. The population control measure led to forced and coerced abortions through all nine months of pregnancy.
These abuses received renewed attention this summer after the Associated Press reported about Chinese “re-education” camps, police raids on families’ homes in search of illegal children, families going into hiding to protect their “illegal” children, government intimidation and more.
In August, a former Chinese obstetrician, Hasiyet Abdulla, who now lives in Turkey, told Radio Free Asia about the forced abortions and infanticide that she witnessed in Xinjiang hospitals. She said every hospital included a “family-planning unit” that tracked “who had how many kids, when they’d given birth to them.”
“There were babies born at nine months who we killed after inducing labor,” she said.
In the summer, U.S. leaders condemned China for oppressing women and minorities.
According to Fox News: “Members of Congress have scrutinized relationships between China and companies like Nike or Apple amid concerns of forced labor. Last month, the State Department sent a letter warning business leaders about the potential for international commerce to help brands benefiting from slave labor.”
These warnings followed multiple sanctions by the Trump administration in July. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States will use “the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world.”
Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese human rights advocate who helped expose forced abortions in the communist country, also drew attention to the on-going abuses during his speech at the Republican National Convention in August.