HONG KONG (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador for religious freedom, Sam Brownback, on Friday called on Beijing to end religious persecution in China, while requesting a visit to the country’s mass internment camps in the western region of Xinjiang.
In a strongly worded speech during a visit to Hong Kong, Brownback said Beijing was waging a “war with faith” and that it needed to respect the fundamental and “sacred right” of people to worship.
“It is a war they will not win,” he told an audience at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club.
“The Chinese Communist Party must hear the cries of its own people for religious freedom and act to correct its wrongs.”
Addressing the subject of China’s vast internment camps for Muslims in Xinjiang, Brownback spoke of rights violations including torture, political indoctrination and forced labour. The camps reportedly hold more than a million ethnic Uighurs and people from other Muslim minorities,
“The Trump administration is deeply concerned and considers this oppression a deliberate attempt by Beijing to redefine and control members of these Muslim minority groups’ identity, culture and faith.”