China Pans Junior

China airs rare public criticism of Bush Iraq policy
Thu Feb 1, 12:02 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – President Bush should scrap his unilateral approach and respect religious diversity in his “war on terror” to resolve troubles in Iraq, a senior Chinese official said in comments published on Thursday.

Recent anti-war protests across the United States illustrated that the Iraq war was unjust, Ye Xiaowen, director of the State Bureau of Religious Affairs, wrote in the overseas edition of People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, in rare public criticism of U.S. policy.

Ye’s bureau oversees Christianity, Buddhism and Islam in the atheist country which only tolerates state-sanctioned religious institutions.

He criticized inflammatory terms such as “crusade” and “Islamic fascism” which Bush had used in the past when speaking of the fight against terrorism and Muslim militants.

“How can you link anti-terrorism with a particular religion?” Ye asked in a commentary headlined “Bush should reflect deeply.”

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