US sabotages China, neighbors’ relations with Xinjiang issue: expert

By Xie Wenting Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/24 23:08:40

US President Donald Trump (left) shakes hands with US Vice President Mike Pence at a United Nations event on Religious Freedom at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Photo : AFP

China slammed wrong remarks made by US officials on Xinjiang and China's religious freedom at the 74th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Tuesday.

If the US politician really cares about religious issues, he must face the fact that so many practices against religious freedom are happening in the US, Geng Shuang, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, told Tuesday's media briefing, after US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday made a so-called "global call" to "protect freedom" at the UN headquarters, during which he attacked the "violation" of religious freedom in many countries, including China.

"What the US is doing is to press China and sabotage China's relations with surrounding countries," Xu Jianying, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Research Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Xu said "it is absurd that the US keeps talking about religious freedom but never mentions about law," he said, adding that the US won't accept freedom that violates its law.

Pence was not the only US politician who launched attacks against China on religion and Xinjiang policies. 

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged five Central Asian countries to resist China's demands to repatriate the Uyghur people and accused China of attempting "to erase" minority cultures and religions. 

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan was also prepared to host an event on the "human rights crisis in Xinjiang" in China at the UN Assembly. 

The US side's repeated hype of the Xinjiang issue at the UN reflects their ignorance of the region's development, analysts said. 

China has about 200 million religious believers, among whom 20 million are Muslims. There are also more than 380,000 clerical personnel in China with approximately 5,500 religious groups and about 140,000 places of worship registered for religious activities, Geng noted. 

There is one mosque for averagely every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang, which is more than most Islamic countries, he said.

In contrast to China's efforts in Xinjiang, which bring prosperity to the region, what the US has done in the past decades to innocent Muslims should be closely watched, Xu said. He used Afghanistan as an example.

"Does the war waged by the US bring stability and prosperity?" Xu asked. 

A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found out that 75 percent of Muslim American adults said there is "a lot" of discrimination against Muslims in the US, a view shared by nearly seven in ten adults.

The US disregards China's strong opposition and uses religion and human rights as a cover to slander China's Xinjiang policy and interferes in China's internal affairs, Geng noted. 

The spokesperson for the Chinese delegation to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly said on Monday, "US attempts to take advantage of the UN platform to interfere in other countries' internal affairs violate the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and run counter to the UN spirit for dialogue and cooperation, and will produce no effect whatsoever."

The spokesperson added that most countries won't support the US.  

"A part of the US establishment wants to confront a non-interventionist country like China and, obviously, they have to build a narrative based on universal values and principles. But it is a manufactured narrative, and another example of consent/discontent through propaganda techniques," Fabio Massimo Parenti, a professor at the International Institute Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence, told the Global Times on Monday.
Newspaper headline: FM slams Pence on religious freedom


blog comments powered by Disqus