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Opinions | "Chinese Culture" Is Not Chinese Communism. Someone please let the New York Mets know.

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Please come to the ball game. Stay for CCP propaganda.

That’s not a marketing slogan for the New York Mets. “Chinese Cultural Evening” — but it could be.

The Mets will face the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on Saturday, promising an exciting matchup between the top two teams in the National League. But this is no ordinary game. Saturday’s attendees will be treated to a “luxury event” featuring souvenirs, calligraphy and kung fu demonstrations, handouts about “Chinese civilization” and other programs, according to event organizers. And this year, for the first time in his decade-plus history of the annual event, fans who purchase tickets through his online promotion will receive a limited edition commemorative hat.

On the surface, it all looks harmless. As the Mets organization notes, the Mets honor many groups. Upcoming Celebration Nights will recognize Irish and Israeli, Filipino and Hispanic heritage, and the 100th anniversary of baseball in Japan. And he said August 28th is the franchise’s 17th annual “Taiwan Day”.

But “Chinese Culture Evening” is much more than community outreach. Mets’ partner in the event is the Sino-American Friendship Association, which some Chinese experts identify as involved in the activities of the United Front, a global effort to propagandize on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party. increase.

A term derived from Leninism, the United Front refers to a set of organizations that act as a bridge between the Chinese Communist Party and non-party institutions. Abroad, these take the form of “friendship” groups that exist in nearly every major US city. Some are clearly associated with the official ministry, the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China. Isaac Stone Fish, founder and CEO of Strategy Risks, a research firm that studies China’s influence on the U.S. elite, said the Chinese Communist Party aims to implement He said some were related to broader “ideological activities”.

According to Michael Sobolik, Fellow of the US Council on Foreign Policy, the mission of organizations associated with the United Front is two-fold. The first is to “monitor and control the activities of Chinese people around the world.” The second is “Elite Capture”. Overseas Business He works with leaders, politicians and other influential figures to change foreign perceptions of China. In some cases, groups are actively seeking targets to groom as information assets, he adds Sobolik.

The Sino-American Friendship Association is a “famous united front operator,” says Mark Simon, a close friend of Hong Kong dissident Jimmy Lai (and a Mets fan). The group has extensive ties to Chinese Communist Party bureaucrats. Its honorary president, Xi Kun Yuan, is a member of the 11th Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an institution of the Communist Party of China, according to the SAFA website. Its advisory board includes Bingde Zhou, former vice president of the state-run China News Service, and his former consul at the People’s Republic of China Consulate General in New York, Zhongwen Qu. SAFA’s Chinese-language website mentions cooperation with the Chinese Consulate, China National Tourism Administration, Xinhua News Agency and other state media agencies. The group also planned a trip to meet with officials from China’s United Front Work Department.

The Sino-American Friendship Association is an “independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization,” it said in a statement.

A perfect symbol of the Mets gimmick problem is the baseball cap present. A picture commemorating the year of the tiger is drawn on the underside of the brim. On the outside (the most prominent part), the Mets logo appears in red and yellow, harmonizing with the People’s Republic of China flag that adorns the left side of the cap.

The symbol is important, and there is some irony in using this to celebrate Chinese culture. destruction of Chinese culture. Today, the CCP censors artists and writers. Religion is controlled by the state. China is the world’s largest prisoner of journalists. By banning schools from teaching children their mother tongue, they are trying to destroy the culture of minorities. It continues to shatter the once-thriving metropolis of Hong Kong under Jackboot.

Also, the regime’s genocide against the country’s 12 million Uighurs is well documented. Concentration camps, “re-education”, surveillance, slave labor, forced sterilization, torture and rape – all part of a sinister campaign to wipe the culture of this Muslim minority from the face of the earth.

Enough for any decent baseball fan, or human, to choke on peanuts and crackerjacks.

That’s also certainly not the image SAFA is trying to project. Also, the Mets don’t seem to be trying to spread the truth about Beijing. The goal for the evening is regional outreach, according to a team spokesperson. “It’s more important than ever to support these communities,” he said. he added that

The organization seems to have forgotten that when it comes to death tolls, the greatest perpetrator of anti-Asian violence in history is the People’s Republic of China. You are there only because you got away from everything.

It’s tempting to dismiss the Mets debacle as just another example of China’s sportswashing. But this is especially bad timing. It’s not a great look that the administration is handing out Chinese flag hats in the same week as it threatened the US Speaker of the House of Representatives and launched missiles near its democratic neighbor.

In an ideal world, the Mets would cancel Saturday’s event, cut ties with the Sino-American Friendship Association, and ensure that future “Chinese Culture Evenings” actually celebrate Chinese culture and the Chinese people. deaf.

In the meantime, fans who don’t want to become a sign of a genocidal totalitarian state have a simple solution. You can throw a commemorative hat to