Sen. Cotton to Coca-Cola: 'You're Sponsoring the Genocide Olympics' in Communist China 2022

By Michael W. Chapman | July 28, 2021 | 10:42am EDT
Coca-Cola bottle and China's genocidal leader Xi Jinping.  (Getty Images)
Coca-Cola bottle and China's genocidal leader Xi Jinping. (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- In a scene reminiscent of U.S. corporations that operated in Nazi Germany, Coca-Cola's global vice president for human rights, Paul Lalli, would not say whether Communist China is committing genocide, although our own government has publicly stated that China is committing this horrendous crime against the Uyghur Chinese. 

At a hearing on Tuesday about corporate sponsorship of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) criticized Lalli's obfuscation in answering by stating, "I think the answer is you’re afraid of the Chinese Communist Party. You’re afraid of what they will do to your company...."

In a tweet on Tuesday, Sen. Cotton wrote, "Coca-Cola: We stand up for what is right across the world. Also Coca-Cola: We will not condemn the Chinese Communist Party for committing genocide, and we will support the Winter Olympics in Beijing."

During the question and answer section of the hearing, held by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Sen. Cotton asked Coca-Cola's Valli, "Do you believe that China's Communist Party is committing genocide against the Uyghur people?"

Lalli replied, “We’re aware of the reports of the State Department on this issue as well as other departments of the U.S. government. We respect those reports. They continue to inform our program as do reports from other civil society.”

Coca-Cola's Global Vice President for Human Rights Paul Valli.  (Screenshot)
Coca-Cola's Global Vice President for Human Rights Paul Valli. (Screenshot)

Senator Cotton also asked Lalli to explain why Coca-Cola was quick to denounce the election-integrity law recently passed by Republicans in Georgia but will not say a word critical of Communist China.

"Your CEO [James Quincey] could saddle-up the same moral high horse that he got on when Georgia passed its election law and write a letter to the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and ask them to" consider a new location for the games, said Cotton.

"Anybody can do that,” he added. “If he’s an American citizen, that’s his right under our Constitution.”

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey.  (Getty Images)
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey. (Getty Images)

Lalli replied, "As I said, we are most engaged in policy issues here at home, but we are clear in our respect for human rights globally.... Our role as a sponsor is to support and follow the athletes."

Cotton then said, "Sir, so you're sponsoring the Genocide Olympics. You are spending millions of dollars to sponsor the Genocide Olympics. That you will not opine on any matter about it, but you will stick your nose in the Georgia legislature's election reform laws."

"Why is it Coca-Cola will opine on Georgia's election laws but not on the Genocide Olympics?" asked Cotton.

"As I've said, Georgia is our home," replied Lalli. "It’s where many of our employees live and work, and we are most engaged on public policy issues here in the U.S.” 

Cotton then said, “I think the answer is you’re afraid of the Chinese Communist Party. You’re afraid of what they will do to your company, if you say a single word like, for instance, saying that both the Biden and the Trump administration are correct when they say that China is committing a genocide against its own people.”

One of the re-education/concentration camps in Communist China.  (Getty Images)
One of the re-education/concentration camps in Communist China. (Getty Images)

An estimated 1.5 million Uyghur Chinese are being held in concentration camps in Red China. According to numerous media reports, many Uyghur prisoners are being tortured and many Uyghur women have been raped by camp guards. 

Since the Communists took over China in 1949-50, more than 65 million Chinese people have been killed for political reasons, according to The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press)

It is not known whether Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, who was born in England, is a U.S. citizen, a mystery that Sen. Cotton asked Paul Lalli to clarify in writing to the committee. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Quincey said of the election-integrity law in Georgia, "Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal: This legislation is unacceptable. It is a step backwards and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity. And this is -- this is frankly just a step backwards."

According to Business Insider, a Coca-Cola subsidiary operated in Nazi Germany until about the time the U.S. entered WWII in December 1941. 

"Much like the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin were the perfect marketing opportunity for Coca-Cola," reported Business Insider. "It catered at the games once again. Just like with most brands active in Germany at this time, it appeared beside waving banners emblazoned with swastikas.

At the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany.  (Screenshot)
At the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. (Screenshot)
 
 

"After this, the Coca-Cola logo was seen at various athletic competitions in Germany and later even on trucks at Hitler Youth rallies. And the ninth annual concessionaire convention ended with a Keith-led pledge to Coca-Cola and a rousing 'Sieg heil!' to Hitler."

In February, Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. wrote, "If the United States had known what Nazi Germany would become, would we have participated in the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics? This is not a historical head-scratcher. The answer bears directly on next year’s Winter Olympics in Communist China."  

"The United States should boycott Beijing 2022 given China’s threats abroad and tyranny at home," said Haley. 

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