‘China Repression Grows’, Says US

From the BBC:

Repression of in some parts of China has intensified over the past year, the US government says.

The state department’s annual report on religious freedom around the world criticised Beijing’s actions in remote Xinjiang province and Tibetan areas… In China, the report highlighted the treatment of the Uighur people – a Muslim group living mainly in Xinjiang.

“The government reportedly continued to detain Uighur Muslim citizens for possession of unauthorised religious texts, imprison them for religious activities determined to be ‘extremist’, and prevent them from observing certain sacred religious traditions,” the report said.

It was also critical of the Beijing government’s handling of protests by Tibetans in March – particularly of the use of “patriotic education campaigns” in a bid to stifle dissent.

The International Religious Freedom Report 2008 for China can be viewed here.

Meanwhile, in related news, the Associated Press reports:

China has rejected a Senate resolution urging Beijing to hold serious talks with supporters of the Dalai Lama, saying the move shows Washington supports Tibetan independence.

The bipartisan Senate resolution, passed Wednesday, also called for China to allow more religious freedom in , which was rocked by violent riots and anti-government protests earlier this year.

“The Tibet issue is China’s internal affair, so is the Chinese government’s contact and dialogue with the Dalai Lama,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement posted on the ministry’s Web site late Saturday night.

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