China hits back at 'hypocritical' US over religious freedom

Pompeo addresses the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington

Pompeo addresses the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington

Pompeo did not name any of the countries and a State Department spokesman could not provide a figure.

The senior official thanked the countries that had "defied" the alleged Chinese pressure to come to the event.

Citing Tsai's remarks, Kao said: "The religious freedom we enjoy in Taiwan is an integral part of our democratic way of life and one of the most important assets we can share with the worldwide community", which is why Pompeo not long ago highlighted Taiwan as "a reliable democratic partner and a force for good in the world". "What Pence and Pompeo said is hypocritical".

"They even mixed and colluded with cultists, which again exposed their disgusting face and hypocritical features", added Geng.

Pence also demanded the release of detained religious dissidents in Eritrea, Mauritania and Pakistan and vowed the US would press for religious freedom in North Korea amid efforts to denuclearize the country.

"We demand that the United States correctly view China's religious policies and the status of religious freedom in China, and stop using the issue of religion to interfere in other countries' affairs".

Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, and "Christianity" (the Protestant "patriotic" church) are the only legal religions in China. Most are ethnic Uighurs, though Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims have also testified to being imprisoned in the camps.

He said the building of vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was an effective way to maximally ensure the basic rights, including the rights to subsistence and development, of people in Xinjiang.

Pence reaffirmed US support for "people of faith in China" regardless of the outcome of US-China trade negotiations.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the same conference, said USA trade talks with China would not get in the way of America's commitment to religious freedom.

Pompeo issued a similarly striking rebuke of Communist Party religious policy. "Chinese Government officials have even discouraged other countries from attending this very gathering".

Pompeo, in his remarks, harshly criticised USA adversaries Iran and China for their human rights records, calling Beijing's incarceration of more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people "truly the stain of the century".

President Donald Trump met with a group of victims of global religious persecution in the Oval Office Thursday that included the daughter of an imprisoned Uighur scholar, the nephew of a Tibetan Buddhist prisoner who died in Chinese custody and a Falun Gong practitioner whose husband remains a political prisoner.

The Vice President was baptized Catholic, but said has said that while in college, his faith became "real" when he "made a personal decision for Christ"; in a 1994 interview he identified as an "Evangelical-Catholic", began attending an Evangelical megachurch with his family and calls himself a "Christian".

"I have to point out that the remarks by those people [the persecuted] are seriously wrong".