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Representatives from several major companies on Tuesday declined to denounce the genocide of the Uyghur people in China when directly asked by Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, who said they should be "ashamed of themselves."
Cotton first asked Paul Lalli, global vice president for human rights for The Coca-Cola Company, during a Congressional Executive Commission on China hearing to explain why the company felt comfortable criticizing voting legislation in Georgia but not genocide – as reported by the State Department – in China.
"We’re aware of the reports of the State Department on this issue, as well as other departments of the U.S. government and we respect those reports," Lalli said. "They continue to inform our program, as do reports from civil society."
When pressed on why the company continues act in a sponsorship role for the Beijing Olympics, Lalli noted that it supports and follows the athletes who participate in the Games, without making any determinations on the host city.
The hearing was focused on corporate sponsorship of the Beijing 2022 Olympics.
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