JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, during remarks at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, shot off a quip about China that wasn’t exactly fawning — and shortly after, he apologized. More to truth, shortly after, he was pressured to apologize.
There are so many things wrong with that picture it’s difficult to know where to start.
First off, America doesn’t apologize to China. Ever. America the Free doesn’t acknowledge the right for China the Unfree — for China the communist, China the human rights violator, China the persecutor of religion, China the complete opposite of free — to pressure Americans into apologizing. For anything.
Good does not apologize to evil.
Evil doesn’t get to dictate standards to good.
If America allows that China has a right to monitor and shape American morals, values, freedoms, then America might as well shred the Constitution now. It’ll save the soon-to-come Chinese overlords the trouble.
Second off, businesses in America have gone far too far down the trail of appeasing China for economic gain. For the glory of the buck, for the opportunity to expand, the NBA has sided with communists over its players, Hollywood has censored its films to win favor with Chinese, and top-earning American companies have catered their advertising, their public relations, their messaging — their free speech — to the CCP, to the point of outright ignoring atrocities perpetrated by China against, oh, let’s pick one, say the Uyghurs, a.k.a. Uighurs.
“2 Million Uighur Muslims Face Genocide at the Hands of the Chinese Government,” For the Martyrs reported earlier this year.
But at least U.S. chipmakers and casinos get their big bucks from their China partners, yes?
American companies doing business in China, relying heavily on business in China to boost their bottom lines, have sold their souls to the devil. And perhaps that wouldn’t be so devastating if they didn’t want to sell yours and mine, as well.
JPMorgan’s Dimon said in recent remarks that “the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year” and “so is JPMorgan.” He then quipped, “And I’ll make you a bet we last longer” and added: “I can’t say that in China. They probably are listening anyway.”
It wasn’t but a few hours later — 18, in fact — that Dimon, facing pressure from China, facing pressure from within his own company, then said this: “I regret my recent comment because it’s never right to joke about or denigrate any group of people, whether it’s a country, its leadership, or any part of a society and culture. Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever.”
You know what else speaking that way can take away, too?
JPMorgan’s near-$20-billion worth of investment tied to China, as well as company plans to expand more.
Good for Dimon. Well and good for JPMorgan. Making money’s great; making money is a very American pursuit. But making money shouldn’t come at the expense of freedom.
A year or so ago, Coach and Versace were pressured to walk back their references to Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries, so as to soothe the “feelings of the Chinese people.” A couple of months ago, the Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter called out Xi Jinping as a “brutal dictator” — and while he’s not recanted this statement, or pulled back his support for the Free Tibet movement, his name has been blocked on Chinese social media. And the NBA is no doubt nail-biting about a Daryl Morey Redux — when China stopped broadcasting games after the then-Houston Rockets’ general manager tweeted “free Tibet” messages to followers.
And that leads to the third point: This Joe Biden administration is only making matters worse. Where Donald Trump was tough, Team Biden is weak.
“Chinese President Xi Jinping greeted President Biden as ‘old friend’ … as the pair kicked off [their] virtual summit” earlier this month, The New York Post wrote.
Biden denied he was an “old friend” to Xi. The White House put out a special message insisting the two aren’t “old friends.”
But can you say Hunter Biden?
“How Hunter Biden’s Firm Helped Secure Cobalt for the Chinese,” The New York Times just reported.
“Hunter Biden’s firm helped China get electric-car mineral: report,” The New York Post just reported, too.
Contrast that with the previous administration’s “210 public actions” related to crackdowns against China, including Justice Department indictments and arrests, State Department visa and travel restrictions, Treasury Department sanctions and Commerce Department export controls, as Axios noted.
Under Trump, the message to China was America First.
Under Biden, the message to China is America Bends.
And businesses are with alarming frequency taking up the Biden line and bending America’s Constitution to communist will.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.