United States’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said that China is the “gravest threat” to the future of religious freedom amid rising tensions with Beijing, AFP reported.
“The gravest threat to the future of religious freedom is the Chinese Communist Party’s war against people of all faiths: Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners alike,” Pompeo said in a speech in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
Pompeo also criticised China for its treatment of Uighur Muslims. “The atheist Chinese communist party has tried to convince the world that its brutalisation of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang is necessary as counter-terrorism or poverty alleviation,” he said. “But we know that there is no counter-terrorism justification in forcing Uighur Muslims to eat pork during Ramadan, or destroying a Muslim cemetery.”
Pompeo made an evident attempt to appeal to the people of Indonesia on religious grounds, the country with the highest Muslim population in the world. “The Chinese Communist Party has tried to convince Indonesians to look away from the torments your fellow Muslims are suffering...Search your hearts. Look at the facts,” he said.
All through his Asia tour, Pompeo has been consistently attacking Beijing on a number of matters. During his stay in India, he said the United States will stand with India in its efforts to guard its sovereignty and liberty, in a reference to the Galwan Valley clash with China.
On Wednesday, during his visit to Sri Lanka, he said China was operating as a “predator” in the country and accused it of violating the island nation’s sovereignty.