Basketball and hip-hop diplomacy in the age of souring U.S.-China ties and COVID-19 - SupChina
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Basketball and hip-hop diplomacy in the age of souring U.S.-China ties and COVID-19

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SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

Tensions between the U.S. and China may be at an all-time high, but sports and pop culture remain an important bridge between the people of both countries:  

Stephon Marbury, former NBA star and native of Brooklyn, New York, is currently the head coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters, a Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) team. He became a household name in China from 2010 to 2018, when he played for and led the Beijing Ducks to three CBA championships.

He is now trying to procure face masks in China to supply to hospitals in his home state. The New York Post says that “he’s made arrangements with a mask supplier in China willing to sell New York 10 million masks ‘at cost’ for $2.75 each — well below the roughly $7.50 that N95 retailers have been quoting the state.”

For more sports news from China, please see SupChina’s weekly roundup of all sports Chinese.

Rapper Cardi B is developing a large fan base in China with her coronavirus commentary, in which she has praised China’s response to the outbreak and called out xenophobia against Chinese people in the U.S.  

In an Instagram Live session on March 21, the chart-topping artist goes on a rant about what she admires the most about China’s approach to the virus.

Y’all seen that [in] Wuhan, China right now, the coronavirus cases is going lower. But that’s because when they quarantined people… They were knocking on each door, taking people’s temperature and everybody that had the coronavirus, they were like doing strict quarantine on them. While we’re quarantining at home, what is the [U.S.] government doing?

See SupChina for details on this story.

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