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Beijing criticizes report on Xinjiang
July 19,2019   By:China Daily
July 19, 2019 -- China urged the United States on Monday to respect facts and stop defaming China's religious policies and its actions in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
 
The content concerning China in the 2018 Report on International Religious Freedom that the US Department of State recently issued is "wanton defamation" and "overt interference in China's internal affairs", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
 
China has lodged solemn representations to the US over the content, Geng added.
 
The Chinese government protects its citizens' freedom of religious belief according to law, and Chinese people of all ethnic groups enjoy full religious freedom according to law, he said.
 
China's ethnic and religious policies are open and transparent, the spokesman said.
 
There are nearly 200 million people with religious affiliation in China, among whom more than 20 million are Muslim, Geng said, adding that there are about 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, which equals about one mosque for every 530 Muslims.
 
"In contrast, the situation of religion and human rights for minorities in the US is worrying," Geng said.
 
Geng quoted surveys conducted by Gallup and the Pew Research Center showing that 42 percent of US citizens worry a great deal about race relations and 75 percent of US Muslims said there is a lot of discrimination against them in the US.
 
"According to the statistics I saw, the number of mosques in the US nationwide is less than one-tenth of those in Xinjiang," the spokesman said, adding that the affairs in Xinjiang are purely China's internal affairs, and no foreign forces have the right to interfere with them.
 
Vocational education and training centers were set up in Xinjiang according to law, which is totally a preventive measure against terrorism and a step to tackle extremism, Geng said.
 
The aim of these centers is to better protect the lives, property, freedom of religious belief and human rights of people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang, Geng said.
 
Facts show these measures have made important contributions to social stability and economic development in Xinjiang, which should not be denied or defamed by the report or the remarks made by some in the US, Geng said.
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