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Remarks by Spokesperson of the Chinese Delegation to the 74th Session of the UNGA on the US Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom Event and Meeting Regarding Xinjiang

2019-09-24 12:15

Q: On September 23, the US held a Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom event at the UN headquarters. At this event, Vice President Pence attacked religious freedom in many countries, including China. The US State Department also announced in a statement that Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan will hold a meeting regarding Xinjiang on September 24. What's your comment?

A: The United Nations is a solemn platform for the international community to uphold fairness and justice. Unfortunately, we regret to see the US using religious freedom as a cover to wantonly criticize other sovereign countries by disrespecting and distorting facts. Such attempts that 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. Therefore they will produce no effect whatsoever. Nor will they get support from the majority of countries.

Respecting and protecting religious freedom has been explicitly enshrined in China's Constitution. When it comes to issues relating to Xinjiang, the Chinese government and people of all ethnic groups living in Xinjiang are in the best position to judge. It is not a matter of ethnicity, religion or human rights, but a matter of fighting violent terrorism and separatism. Almost a thousand foreign diplomats and journalists as well as officials from international organizations have visited Xinjiang. They have seen with their own eyes the significant effects of the preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures taken by the Xinjiang autonomous region. Far from undermining local residents' religious freedom, these measures are important contributions to the international counter-terrorism cause. This is the fact that cannot be smeared or distorted.

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