China: Religious Persecution Charges 'Groundless'

Beijing is rejecting U.S. charges of religious persecution in China, dismissing such accusations as "groundless."

The U.S. House of Representatives approved resolutions on Monday condemning China for what American lawmakers called rising religious persecution.

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Beijing Jiang Yu told reporters Tuesday such statements constitute interference in China's internal affairs.

The Chinese official said Beijing protects the religious freedom of all Chinese citizens in accordance with the law.

China's treatment of religious groups that do not have state approval has been criticized human-rights groups and several other nations.

Chinese Catholics who shun state-controlled churches and worship at unauthorized "underground" churches are often harassed and detained. Practitioners of Falun Gong, a banned spiritual movement, also have been detained or arrested.