Beijing: The US’s allegations about the oppression of Muslim Uyghurs and other religious groups in China are unfounded, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.
On Monday, the US State Department delivered an annual report on international religious freedom, in which China was accused of oppressing Uyghurs, as well as Catholics, Protestants, Tibetan Buddhists, Hui Muslims and Falun Gong practitioners.
“China will never accept this and strongly protests,” Wang told a briefing.
Wang said the Chinese government protects religious freedoms of its citizens in accordance with the law, and representatives of all ethnic groups enjoy complete freedom of belief in the country.
“The respective statements by the US are not based on facts and smear China’s ethnic and religious policy, [they are] full of ideological prejudice and are devoid of any grounds, they are utterly preposterous,” Wang added.
Various human rights and non-governmental organizations around the world have reported persistent violations of human rights in China’s Xinjiang region. The UN Human Rights Office said in September 2022 that the extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups in Xinjiang may constitute international crimes and human rights violations.
In 2018, experts from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reported that up to 1 million ethnic Uyghurs could be in Beijing-run “re-education camps” in Xinjiang. Beijing has always denied the existence of “re-education camps,” insisting that the country was fully complying with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.