On Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected Pope Francis‘ criticism of China’s treatment of Uyghurs Muslims as unfounded.
And in a new book entitled “Let’s Dream: The Road to a Better Future,”, Pope Francis said: “I think a lot about the oppressed peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uyghurs, the Yezidis.”
This is the first time that Pope Francis describes the Chinese Uyghurs as oppressed people.
“The Chinese government always protects the legal rights of ethnic minorities on an equal footing,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiang rejected the Pope’s statement.
“People of all ethnicities in Xinjiang enjoy full protection for their living rights, development rights, and religious freedom,” he added.
“The statements of Pope Francis are baseless,” he said.
Beijing has long rejected allegations about the persecution of Uighurs, saying it is an attempt to discredit China, and has confirmed that the camps that activists describe as detention centers are centers for education and vocational training as part of measures to combat terrorism and eliminate extremism.
According to “Reuters”, many commentators said the Vatican was reluctant to speak publicly about the Uyghurs earlier because it was renewing an agreement with Beijing on the appointment of bishops, which was accomplished last September.
Source: Reuters+ RT