Ya. V. LEKSYUTINA
Candidate of Political Sciences
Key words: China-US relations, religious freedom, Tibet, XUAR, Falun Gong
Relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States are developing dynamically in various areas, exerting a significant impact on the development of the modern world order. However, the nature of these relations, in addition to the Taiwan issue, the growth of the PRC's military power and some other problems, is influenced by another significant factor - fundamentally different approaches to the so-called human rights issues, including the problem of religious freedom.
Washington's special attention to religious freedoms abroad is due to a domestic political factor - the cultural and philosophical tradition of the United States, which considers American history as a unique Messianic experiment ("America is the city of God on Earth").
With the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act in November 1998 by the US Congress, the protection of religious freedoms abroad has become an important element of US foreign policy. For the past 10 years, the US State Department's annual reports on religious freedom around the world have listed China as one of the countries where "violations of religious freedoms"are observed. Washington's criticism targets both the Chinese authorities ' policy on religion in general, as well as restrictions on religious freedom for Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, and Uighur Muslims, as well as the persecution of followers of the Falun Gong religious sect.
FREEDOM, BUT WITH RESERVATIONS
The policy of the Chinese authorities on the issue of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, which declares freedom of religion to its citizens.
However, the specific nature of the Chinese constitution is that it contains three restrictions that are fundamentally important: restriction of religious freedom by religious activities designated as "normal"; prohibitio ... Read more