China accused the U.S. of making baseless accusations Wednesday in response to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s assertion that China persecutes religious minorities.
The U.S. Department of State released its annual report on religious freedom Tuesday, during which Tillerson lambasted several countries, China among them, for violating the religious liberties of its citizens. Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a Wednesday news briefing that the U.S. should tend to its own affairs.
“The so-called U.S. report ignores the facts, confuses right and wrong and makes wanton criticism of China’s religious freedom situation,” Chunying said, according to Reuters. “China is resolutely opposed to this and has lodged solemn representations with the U.S. side.”
“Everyone has seen that the facts prove the United States is not totally perfect. We urge the United States to respect the facts and properly manage its own affairs, and stop using the wrong means of the so-called religious freedom issue to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” Chunying added.
The Chinese publication Xinhua equivocated China’s violations of religious liberty, which include persecution of Christians, Muslims, and Tibetan Buddhists, with the Charlottesville riots. (RELATED: China Doubles Down On Persecuting Muslims, Bans Praying And Beards)
“While still reeling from the death and violence seen at a white-nationalist rally in the city of Charlottesville, the United States should take a minute to reflect on its own human rights situation before pointing accusing fingers at China,” the commentary read.
China has harshly persecuted Catholic ministers and Protestant house churches, imprisoning and torturing members and clergy on charges of noncompliance with government regulations of religion. Chinese authorities also imposed a police state on the Uyghur Muslim population designed to systematically rid China’s largest province of Islam.
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