BEIJING: China urges the United States to respect the facts, abandon its arrogance and prejudice, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of religion, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks at a press conference in response to a recent United States Commission on International Religious Freedom annual report making accusations of China's religious freedom situation.
Geng said the so-called US commission has entrenched political bias against China and has for many years issued reports to smear China's religious policy.
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"We urge the US side to respect the facts, discard its arrogance and prejudice, stop its wrongdoing of issuing relevant reports year after year, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of religion," Geng said.
Geng said China is a country under the rule of law, the Chinese government protects its citizens' freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups enjoy full freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law.
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China has nearly 200 million religious believers, more than 380,000 clerical personnel, about 5,500 religious organizations and more than 140,000 venues for religious activities registered according to law.
The US act of smearing cannot change these facts, Geng said, adding just like other countries, China absolutely does not allow any individual to engage in criminal activities under the pretext of religion.
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