By Eric Lendrum
September 30, 2021
Major League Baseball (MLB) is expanding its operations in China and shipping more jobs to the Communist nation at the expense of American employees, ostensibly seeking to forge a stronger relationship with the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to the Washington Free Beacon.
As reported by one of China’s leading propaganda outlets, China Daily, the MLB’s operations have resulted in the creation of over 100 baseball teams in China, across 20 different cities. In addition to actual players, other MLB jobs have been outsourced to China at the cost of jobs in the United States. One such example is Miken Sports, a sporting equipment brand that closed a production plant in Minnesota and shipped its 70 jobs over to China.
To further expand its Chinese operations, the MLB has enlisted the services of Chinese businessman to ensure greater cooperation between the league and the Chinese government. The league first hired Chinese businessman Tony Qi to lead its growing Chinese operations in 2019; now, Qi serves as the managing director of MLB China. Qi had previously worked for Chinese state media, as well as the tech company Tencent.
In a statement praising the joint efforts between the MLB and China, Qi said that “China is now aiming to let the next generation enjoy various sports, and has implemented a series of preferential policies. So more and more baseball clubs are growing in China…The baseball environment has changed dramatically since MLB entered the Chinese market.”
But the move has drawn swift criticism from American lawmakers. A resolution to condemn the MLB for its collaboration with China has been introduced by Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.), whose district includes the former Miken Sports plant that was outsourced to China.
”Baseball is considered to be America’s national pastime, so it is completely outrageous that the MLB has decided to shut down the Miken Sports plant in Caledonia and outsource American jobs to communist China—directly defying the MLB’s position as an American sports league,” Hagedorn said in a statement. “Miken has been one of the largest employers in Caledonia for decades, and this community will face major hardships and job losses due to this closure. We are urging the MLB to reverse this decision, purchase products that are made in America, and work to keep these jobs at home.”
Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) said that “the MLB, along with CEOs from several Fortune 500 companies, have decided to start playing politics, picking and choosing where they’ll do business according to the whims of the woke mob. Unfortunately, when it comes to issues of real human rights and genocide, they fall silent. It’s time to hold American organizations and companies accountable for their roles in propping up communist China on the global stage. Congress must set aside partisan politics and stand united against the CCP’s malign influence and activities at home and abroad.”