Mark Cuban's Comments on Communist China Expose Woke Capital's Fatal Flaw | Opinion

There is something clarifying in outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's admission, during an interview with journalist Megyn Kelly, that he is "okay doing business" with communist China—even while it persecutes its Muslim Uyghur minority in gulags—because "they are a customer of ours."

Cuban demonstrates that he and many of the other executives behind woke capital condition their devotion to "social justice" on both economics and politics.

While such candor is to be appreciated to an extent, the problem is that the true cost of doing business with communist China is not reflected in one's profit and loss statement.

It is not just that it corrodes one's soul to transact with a ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that, on top of its repression of the Uyghurs, throws pastors in jail and demolishes their churches, forcibly harvests dissidents' organs and cracks skulls in Hong Kong while it crushes its people's freedom in broad daylight.

It is that it benefits a sworn enemy of our liberty and justice. Americans—the National Basketball Association's most important customers—suffer the ultimate loss.

In early 2013, newly minted CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a speech to the party's Central Committee in which he asserted that "capitalism is bound to die out and socialism is bound to win," and that the Party must lay "the foundation for a future where we will win the initiative and have the dominant position."

During the speech, he hinted at the Party's broader ambitions, saying that "inevitably, our country's road of development will have increasingly greater influence on the world" (emphasis added).

In subsequent speeches, Xi would hock a "Chinese solution...for humanity" and speak of his desire to turn China into a "global leader in terms influence" that dictates the "rules for the international order and international mechanisms" and fosters a "community of common destiny."

Necessarily, these goals mean supplanting the U.S. as the world's dominant power—for the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party, and undoubtedly at the expense of our people.

When speaking to the rest of the world, Xi uses rhetoric diametrically opposed on its face to his proclamations to the CCP—perfectly attuned to the ears of the Western globalists so deeply invested in China's rise—demonstrating clearly the game his Party is playing.

The CCP has acted in accordance with Xi's ambitious domestic proclamations. It has engaged in a whole-of-government, whole-of-society effort to become the dominant economic, military and technological world power.

It has done so through, among other things, the use of unfair and unfree trade to create dependency and leverage over its trade partners, forcing them to hand over, if not simply stealing, invaluable intellectual property—including for weapons development; engaging in pervasive information warfare, espionage and influence operations; flouting international agreements; infiltrating and overtaking global organizations that set global standards and coordinate responses to global issues; driving competitors in strategically significant sectors out of business through state backing of industry and exploiting the American academy to serve its ends.

In terms of direct assaults on the American people, the CCP is most culpable for the incalculable losses of blood, treasure and liberties we faced as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic; it has robbed us of hundreds of billions of dollars in intellectual property, including of the military equipment that protects us; it has flooded with fentanyl many of the very communities hollowed out by the losses attributable to trade with China; it has stolen the most sensitive personal information of tens of millions of our people—which it can use, and likely has used, to erode our national security and economy; it has threatened to attack our armed forces.

Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban visits "Heather B Live" with host Heather B. Gardner at SiriusXM Studios on February 25, 2020 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty

Mark Cuban seeks to square the circle of outspokenness on "social justice" issues in America with relative quiet on China's evil, by claiming that his activism ends at the water's edge. "I put a priority on domestic issues," says Cuban. But the fact of the matter is that with communist China in open confrontation with America at every level, maintaining commercial relations with Beijing becomes a domestic issue of vital importance.

And Cuban undermines his argument about not dabbling in foreign matters by saying, "I'm against all human rights violations around the world," while also adding, "China is not the only country with human rights violations." The subtext is clear. China's human rights violations must be diluted by lumping it with other countries—as if it is not uniquely repressive, with its social credit system, Great Firewall and rampant injustice.

Doing business with a China run by a totalitarian, anti-American communist party legitimizes the regime.

Kowtowing to it, instead of calling out its atrocities, effectively means consenting to those atrocities.

And by both legitimizing the CCP and giving it a free pass for its most malign acts, Cuban's NBA simply becomes another bought-off foreign constituency that will stand on the sideline while it seeks to run roughshod over us—again serving the CCP's agenda.

Now, it is true that China's capture of the NBA, and of most of the entertainment industry, is not as critical as its capture of, say, the computer chip or defense industries. But for communist China, winning the war of ideas—including controlling the global narrative about the CCP—is just as important, if not more important, to its long-term ambitions than quantum computing or bomb-making.

And here, there is another sinister element to this ideological competition that links the NBA and the CCP.

While the NBA went over the top in defense of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and associated "social justice" movements during its rebooted 2020 season, China stood with it. It sought to leverage dubious narratives about systemic racism in America to achieve a propaganda coup—deflecting from the CCP's genuine systemic racism and bigotry, including against Blacks. We now know that the CCP itself has ties to the very BLM movement that the NBA has so overtly supported.

The Marxist BLM movement and its derivatives, on which corporate America has lavished upward of $1.5 billion, further served the CCP's ends in sowing chaos, dissonance and destruction on our streets, with major long-term social, economic and political ramifications.

When human rights and the national interest clash, sometimes strategic interests dictate that we must hold our nose and engage with contemptible foreign powers.

But when both human rights and the national interest are clearly betrayed by such engagement, there is no excuse to continue it.

If the NBA wanted, it could be a leader on behalf of genuine justice by setting aside short-term profits from a communist regime dedicated to eclipsing and ultimately subjugating our country, and instead celebrating the America without which the NBA would not exist.

The same goes for the rest of American corporations that continue to participate in a China trade that sells out the United States and its citizens.

When that day comes, you will know our nation is finally up to the task of grappling with the China challenge.

Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at, and follow him on Twitter: @bhweingarten.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.