Self-hailed as a beacon of freedom, the United States has never forgotten its commitments to human rights around the world. Scorched by the pandemic and nationwide protests, Washington has nevertheless stuck to its tradition of releasing an annual Report on International Religious Freedom.
This year, 14 governments were designated as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs). China has been on the list for 20 consecutive years. The newly-released report, without suspense, intensified criticisms against the country for its human rights “violations” in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.
The U.S. is never too busy to fabricate the same old lies year after year. Washington repeatedly accused China of detaining Uygurs and other ethnic minorities in concentration camps in Xinjiang, quoting a dubious study as supporting evidence.
A read of the “study,” published in The Journal of Political Risk, shows it to be fundamentally flawed. The paper used “official government documents” as data sources. But the Chinese government has clarified these documents are fabricated. Any fact-oriented report would not quote conclusions reached on the basis of false files.
Xinjiang’s vocational education and training centers have nothing to do with breaching people’s religious freedoms. They were designed to nip terrorism in the bud by raising local people’s attainment levels and boosting the employment rate. Figures help explain the results. No single terror attack occurred in Xinjiang since the centers were opened and 480,900 urban jobs were created in the region in 2019, according to Xinhua.
On Tibet, the U.S. report alleged “intensified crackdowns” by China on Dalai Lama-related activities. Anyone with a grasp of China’s history would know the 14th Dalai Lama is a serf owner. Dreaming of bringing back the feudal system of serf ownership, he is notorious for instigating violence and secessionist activities in Tibet.
China’s tough position on the Dalai Lama issue is intended for safeguarding national sovereignty. No state, including the United States, would simply tolerate separatist forces on its soil. Defending national core interests should not be maliciously equated with violating religious freedom.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry detailed that there are nearly 200 million religious believers, more than 380,000 clerical personnel, approximately 5,500 religious groups and more than 140,000 places of worship registered for religious activities in China. The above would never be realized without China’s protection of religious freedoms.
Washington’s report is a demonstration of American hypocrisy and unrivaled skills in double standards. The file lectured dozens of countries, but interestingly kept silent on human rights conditions in the U.S. itself. A detailed read of the 104-page report found not a single word about religion-based discrimination in American society.
Ethnicity-based religious prejudice is a longstanding problem in the United States and it is on the rise since Donald Trump took office. The president’s travel ban barring people from majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. is blatant discrimination against Muslims and a severe breach of religious freedom.
Polls by Gallup and Pew Research Center found 75 percent of Muslims in the U.S. believe they are severely discriminated against due to their religion. There are 10 times fewer mosques across the U.S. than in Xinjiang. But you won’t read these facts in the report.
Touting religious freedom, Washington’s real purpose is to instigate a color revolution and subvert regimes it doesn’t like. It is worth noting that the report spilled a lot of ink in praising the “remarkable changes” in Sudan. Washington attributed the changes to the joint civilian-military transitional government that no longer identifies Islam as the primary source of law.
What the U.S. is satisfied by is the new Sudanese government. It is not freedom of religious belief in Sudan that the U.S. cares about, but regime change. American politicians are adept at using religious freedom as a tool to justify their intervention in other countries’ internal affairs.
And this tactic has been used several times. Remember the Arab Spring? The uprising dragged the entire Middle East into an abyss of misery, and contributed to the ongoing Syrian crisis. The U.S. boosted the revolution in the name of human rights. But in reality, millions of lives were lost as a result of Washington’s intervention.
Sadly, the U.S. does not seem to have learned a lesson. It is now deploying the same tactic to “protect human rights” in China’s Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. If American elites really care about religious freedom, they may want to put more effort into addressing religion-based discrimination than lecturing other countries.