Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on April 1 called on Delta to condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims after the company’s CEO Ed Bastian said in a note to employees that Georgia’s new voting law “does not match Delta’s values.”
In an open letter published on his website, Rubio urged the CEO to use his platform to “unequivocally condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing genocide of Uyghurs Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” and “immediately unravel your business relationship with the genocidal regime.”
The U.S. State Department this week highlighted the deteriorating human rights record in China, accusing the regime of committing “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” in a newly released report.
The Chinese regime’s persecution of the Uyghurs includes political reeducation, forced labor, torture, and forced sterilization on the basis of their religion and ethnicity.
Rubio noted that in 2015, Delta Airlines purchased a 3.55 percent stake in China Eastern Airlines for $450 million. At the time, Delta described the relationship with China Eastern as “long-standing” and an “already effective partnership.”
“To be clear, that partnership, which continues to this day is with the Chinese Government itself, which owns a majority (62 percent) of China Eastern stock,” the Senator wrote.
“While you are certainly free to opine on domestic political issues, it is the height of hypocrisy to claim Georgia’s revised election law is ‘unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values’ while you continue to partner with a government that is actively engaged in genocide.
“Far too many multinational corporations are too eager to make their voices heard on the woke issues of the day in the United States, but remain stunningly silent, or in Delta’s case, complicit, in real, ongoing atrocities in countries like China.
“One can only conclude that you believe standing up to the Chinese Communist Party would be bad for Delta’s business in China.”
Rubio’s letter comes after Bastian wrote to employees to say the airline and other companies had some success in eliminating the new Georgia voting law’s “most suppressive tactics,” but that “the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”
The “Election Integrity Act of 2021” passed by the legislature in a party-line vote makes a number of changes to how elections are run in the state aimed at bolstering election integrity, including reforms requiring photo or state-approved identification to vote absentee by mail.
They also mandate that secure drop boxes be placed inside early voting locations, with constant surveillance, and the law expands early voting across the state to address a key Democrat concern. The bill also shortens the election cycle for runoffs from nine weeks to four and requires a minimum of one week of early voting before Election Day.
However, Bastian claimed that “the entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections,” and that “this is simply not true.”
Following his condemnation of the voting integrity law, the Georgia state House voted to strip Delta Air Lines of a significant tax break worth tens of millions of dollars per year.
The Epoch Times has contacted Delta for comment.