Central News Agency: "U.S Government Officials Predict Religious Freedom to be Important Topic During Jiang-Bush Meeting"

On October 8, 2002, a U.S. government official said that the issue of religious freedom will "almost certainly" be the main topic of the meeting between Party leader Jiang Zemin and President Bush later this month, and the U.S government will mention religious freedom and the "very serious problem" of many Falun Gong practitioners' deaths while in custody in Mainland China, making those probably the main topic.

The annual International Religion Report published by the State Department included much criticism regarding the freedom of religion in China.

As for the meeting on October 25 between President Bush and Party Chief Jiang, U.S. officials said that Bush would certainly mention this face to face with Jiang. President Bush is concerned about religious freedom. U.S. official(s) also said that many Falun Gong practitioners have died while in custody, therefore making it a "very serious problem" and the U.S government will continue to bring it up to Chinese government officials.

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