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(Xinhua) China regrets to see the United States using religious freedom as a cover to wantonly criticize other sovereign countries by disrespecting and distorting facts, said a spokesperson for the Chinese Delegation to the 74th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.|
Girls of the Uighur ethnic group wear traditional attire with miniature Chinese national flags on their faces in Kashgar, western edge of China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. [File Photo: IC]
On Monday, the United States held a "global call" on "protecting religious freedom" at the UN headquarters. At this event, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence attacked religious freedom in many countries, including China.
The U.S. State Department also announced in a statement that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will hold a meeting regarding Xinjiang on Tuesday.
The spokesperson said the United Nations is a solemn platform for the international community to uphold fairness and justice.
U.S. 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, and thus will produce no effect whatsoever, said the spokesperson.
Nor will they get support from the majority of countries, added the spokesperson.
The spokesperson said 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.
The issues concerning Xinjiang are not "a matter of ethnicity, religion or human rights, but a matter of fighting violent terrorism and separatism," the spokesperson added.
Almost 1,000 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 Uygur Autonomous Region, according to the spokesperson.
Far from undermining local residents' religious freedom, these measures are important contributions to the international counter-terrorism cause, said the spokesperson.