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LeBron James criticized over deleted tweet targeting a cop, previous defense of CCP

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Basketball player LeBron James posted and subsequently deleted a tweet on Wednesday about the fatal shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl in Columbus, Ohio, by a police officer. He later tried to explain why he deleted the tweet.

James’ actions on social media prompted backlash from conservatives, who brought up his previous Twitter controversy over tweets defending the Chinese government.

In the since-deleted tweet by the Los Angeles Lakers star was a picture of Columbus Officer Nicholas Reardon along with the caption, “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY,” and an hourglass emoji, according to ESPN.

In the body camera footage released by the Columbus Division of Police on Wednesday, Bryant—after numerous warnings from the officer, identified Wednesday as Reardon, to “get down”—could be seen trying to stab another person with a knife before being shot by Reardon.

Bryant was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. Police did not say if anybody else was hurt.

The shooting happened on Tuesday, after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

On Wednesday evening, James explained why he deleted his earlier post about Reardon, saying it was “being used to create more hate”.

“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself!” wrote James. “Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”

“I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police,” James continued in a separate post. “I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer.  it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY”

Conservatives were quick to bring up the NBA star’s previous controversy regarding his defense of China, who’s authoritarian regime has been putting Uighur Muslims in internment camps, as well as clamping down on democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.

RELATED: Sen. Hawley to LeBron James, NBA: ‘You are profiting off slave labor in China’

As The Daily Caller brought up, in October 2019, James criticized Houston Rockets general manager Dayl Morey for tweeting support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, igniting a firestorm for the NBA. All of the NBA’s official partner companies in China suspended their relationships with the league and China stopped broadcasting NBA matches. It was not until October 2020 that the country started broadcasting NBA games again.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Rejecting Détente Offer, China Throws Shade at Taiwan’s New President

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Follow Steve Postal: @HebraicMosaic

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China’s propaganda machine has responded to Taiwan President Lai Ching-te’s inauguration address, which was conciliatory to the mainland, with belligerence. Rather than accepting Lai’s olive branch of détente based on mutual respect, China used Lai’s inauguration speech to slander the new president, claim that he does not have the mandate of his own people, and threaten to use force on the island.

China Slanders Taiwan’s New President

China reacted to Lai’s inauguration speech by slandering the new Taiwanese president. A Global Times article asserted that Lai “wants to deceive Taiwan residents,” and is “malicious.” Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, stated that Lai has “an extremely arrogant attitude and more radical views,” and that Lai’s inauguration speech was “[f]ull of hostility and provocation and made up of lies and deception,” according to another Global Times article. Similarly, Zhu Fenglian, another spokesperson for China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, called Lai’s actions “vile,” according to a third Global Times article. A China Daily editorial labelled him a “diehard separatist, ” while another China Daily editorial called Lai’s quest for Taiwan’s independence an “evil pursuit.”

China Claims Lai Doesn’t Speak for the People of Taiwan

Despite Lai winning Taiwan’s democratic election, China portrayed Lai as going against the will of his people. Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, called Lai is  “a traitor to mainstream public opinion on the island and a disruptor of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” according to Global Times. Zhu Fenglian, another spokesperson for China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, stated that “insightful individuals in Taiwan have expressed deep concern” about Lai, “reflecting the shared sentiments of the majority of Taiwan compatriots,” and that Lai’s colleagues in the DPP party are “in fact very insecure and fear that compatriots on both sides of the Straits will come closer together,” according to Global Times.

China Threatens to Use Force on Taiwan

China also responded to Lai’s inaugural speech by issuing threats and not-so-veiled threats to use force against Taiwan. One Global Times article stated that “Lai’s ‘Taiwan independence’ remarks are playing with fire, and those who play with fire will be bound to get themselves burned.” According to China Daily, the naval exercises conducted around Taiwan by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from May 23-24 in response to Lai’s speech were “legitimate countermeasures” that send “a clear message that [the PLA] will prevent ‘Taiwan independence’ at all costs.” Another China Daily article stated that the Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun “…left no one in any doubt that should it prove necessary Beijing will not hesitate to use force to quash any bid to divide the nation. Calling the separatists’ pursuit of ‘independence’ an act of self-destruction, he stated unequivocally that ‘Whoever dares to sever Taiwan from China will be crushed.’”

Another Global Times article maintained that “[t]he actions of the Lai authorities will definitely invite lessons and countermeasures from the mainland” and that “[i]f Lai tries to escalate tensions in the coming years, the mainland will respond and use all available tools to make the Taiwan authorities pay a heavy price.” A third Global Times article, quoting “analysts” stated that “the pursuit of ‘Taiwan independence’ is a futile endeavor that will lead to detrimental and calamitous consequences for Taiwan island.”

Rather than accepting Lai’s reasonable offer to resume cordial relations based on mutual respect, China has chosen to ratchet up its propaganda attacks against the island. As China continues to beat the drums of war, will Taiwan hold the line?

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