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China strongly opposes being listed on U.S. religious freedom blacklist

    China refuted here Monday a recent U.S. report which listed China as a "country of particular concern" with regard to religious freedom, saying the move constitutes blatant interference in the country's internal affairs.

    Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said China expresses "strong dissatisfaction" and "firm opposition" to being on the list.

    Recently, the U.S. State Department claimed to have listed China as one of eight "countries of particular concern" with regard to international religious freedom in 2006.

    "The United States' action violates the basic rules of international relations, and constitutes a rude intervention in the internal affairs of another country," Jiang said.

    The Chinese government has always guaranteed citizens' right to religious freedom in accordance with the law, she said. People of various ethnic groups and regions in China enjoy broad and adequate freedom of religious belief according to law, Jiang added.

    "It is the Chinese people that is entitled to speak on this matter," the spokesperson said.

    "We demand the United States respect the truth, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of religion," she said.

    Jiang urged the U.S. side to do more to promote mutual understanding between the two countries instead of worsening relations.

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