On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian calling on him to “speak out against the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide and immediately unravel your business relationship with the genocidal regime.”
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. Bastian:
I write to encourage you to use your platform as the CEO of the world’s largest airline to unequivocally condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing genocide of Uyghurs Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the People’s Republic of China.
This week, the U.S. State Department made it clear that the Chinese Government is committing “genocide and crimes against humanity,” including “the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of China’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”
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.
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.
If you are sincere about standing up for “Delta’s values” you will speak out against the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide and immediately unravel your business relationship with the genocidal regime. If not, it will be clear that your Wednesday letter to employees was little more than a cynical attempt to protect your domestic business interests, the very definition of woke corporate hypocrisy.