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Commentary: U.S. is not a human rights paradise, nor the world’s moral leader
August 17,2017   By:People's Daily Online

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August 17, 2017 -- File Photo: People celebrate Lesser Bairam in SW China's Kunming.

August 17, 2017 -- The U.S. Department of State issued its report on International Religious Freedom for 2016, once again using human rights as a political tool to interfere in the internal affairs of China, tarnish its international image, and promote U.S. strategic interests.

In response to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China fully respects and protects freedom of religion and belief in accordance with the law. China slammed the report for maliciously criticizing China’s religious freedom situation in disregard of the facts, and urged the U.S. side to mind its own business and stop interfering in other countries’ internal affairs in the name of religion.

As in any country, there is always room for improvement, but freedom of religious belief is a basic right enjoyed by all Chinese citizens. China protects normal religious activities, but no country allows illegal or harmful activities to be carried out in the name of religion. As a sovereign country, China has every right to guard against what it sees as foreign infiltration through religion and to take appropriate measures to stop extremists from spreading their poisonous ideologies in the country.

As a major country with great influence, the U.S. has an important role to play in advancing the protection of human rights and religious freedom around the world. But the U.S. should also realize that America is not a human rights paradise, nor the world’s moral leader. It thus has no right to use human rights or religious freedom as an excuse to undermine the authority of other countries for its own strategic purposes.