BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday demanded that the United States should respect facts, discard prejudice, and stop intervening in China's internal affairs by using religious issues.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had slandered the religious policy and the freedom of religious belief in China at a U.S. conference on religious freedom.
The remarks of Pence and Pompeo on China were confusing the public and calling white black, Geng said at a press briefing, adding that China has lodged solemn representations with the U.S. side.
He pointed out that Chinese people of all nationalities enjoy full freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law, and that the Chinese government protects its citizens' religious freedom and related rights.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government does not allow anyone to engage in illegal and criminal activities by using religious issues and resolutely opposes any country or any force interfering in China's internal affairs in the name of religious freedom, Geng said.
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.
He urged the U.S. side not to make false statements that were unfounded, deviating from facts and contrary to common sense.
"We urge the United States to respect facts, discard prejudice, correctly view the religious policies and religious freedom in China and stop intervening in China's internal affairs by using religious issues," Geng said.