Religious Freedom Should Be Part of Trade Agreement with China, Expert Says

From The Epoch Times

October 14, 2018 Updated: October 15, 2018

WASHINGTON—Religious freedom should be an important facet of any new or retooled trade agreement between the United States and China, an expert said during a briefing on human rights and religious freedom in China.

In the briefing on Oct. 11, hosted by the International Religious Freedom Caucus and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable (IRFR), representatives for the World Uyghur Congress, the spiritual discipline Falun Gong, and other organizations provided updates on persecutions each group has been subjected to in China and called for action by the United States.

Since the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in July, during which Vice President Mike Pence mentioned religious suppression in China, the U.S. government has been“injecting religious freedom into the bilateral relationships” on trade, economic development, national security, and other issues, said Greg Mitchell, managing co-chair of the IRFR.

“What they need to do is to follow through,” Mitchell said. “If we renegotiate new trade policies so that there is not a tariff war, one of the conditions should be, they need to start to improve religious freedom as part of the new trade agreements.

“We can keep tariffs and sanctions in place unless they improve on religious freedom. They have to follow through with actions,” he said.

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