Washington, DC - Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein traveled to the People’s Republic of China August 20-28, 2015 to discuss religious freedom with government officials, religious leaders, and civil society representatives. He visited Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong.
In meetings with government officials, Ambassador Saperstein noted positive developments, including the growth of religious communities in China. He also recognized the significant increase in the contributions of faith-based organizations to Chinese society, especially in the provision of social services.
Ambassador Saperstein also raised a number of ongoing concerns of the United States regarding the Chinese government’s human rights violations pertaining to religious freedom. Ambassador Saperstein called for an end to the ongoing campaign of cross removals and church demolitions in Zhejiang province and an end to harassment of members of unregistered religious groups. He urged Chinese authorities to reassess counterproductive policies, including restrictions on the religious practice of Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims. Ambassador Saperstein also conveyed the U.S. government’s deep concern over the recent detentions of many human rights defenders and religious leaders.