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China opposes U.S. smearing of its religious freedom: spokesperson
December 24,2019   By:
BEIJING, Dec. 24, 2019 -- China firmly opposes the United States listing China as a so-called "country of particular concern in terms of religious freedom," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Monday.
 
Geng made the remarks at a press briefing when asked to comment on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement listing China and eight other countries as such countries.
 
China firmly opposes the United States' groundless behavior, Geng said, noting that the Chinese government protects its citizens' freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law.
 
China is home to nearly 200 million religious believers, including over 20 million Muslims, more than 380,000 clerical personnel and about 5,500 religious groups, the spokesperson said, adding there are also over 140,000 registered venues for religious activities.
 
"These basic facts cannot be smeared by any U.S. politician at will," Geng said.
 
The Chinese people are best placed to evaluate the state of religious freedom in China, Geng said, urging the United States to respect facts, mind its own business and stop using religious issues to interfere in China's internal affairs.
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