WASHINGTON, February 20, 2002 ( – In an article published in the Washington Times yesterday, Senator Jesse Helms, warned President Bush not to fall for China’s duplicity with regard to religious freedom. As the President arrives in China this week, he “simply must speak directly to the Chinese people about religious liberty and its benefits to humanity,” says Helms, since, having “dialogue” with the Chinese government over the issue is useless.

“It has become a custom for the Chinese leaders, just prior to an American president’s visit, to take long-overdue actions – and here they go again: the Beijing government released Hong Kong businessman Lai Guangqiang after having jailed him for ‘smuggling’ Bibles into China,” says Helms. He calls the Chinese measure “fakery – pretending that Communist China might, at long last, be relenting on its religious persecution.” Helms recalls that “several explosive documents came forth detailing the Chinese government’s strategy to crush religion in China. A document dated October 2001 blew the cover of the highest levels of the Chinese government. Another document exposed tactics such as monitoring, infiltration, outright force and coercion of church members by spies planted in the congregations.”

On religious freedom Helms concludes: “Business as usual with the Chinese government must be unthinkable unless and until Beijing allows true religious freedom by, for just one of many examples, allowing Vatican-approved Catholic churches, bishops and priests in China to hold services.”

See the full article in the Washington Times at: