A Chinese spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, said that Francisco’s comments have “no factual basis”.
“People from all groups ethnic enjoy full rights of survival, development and freedom of religious belief, “he said. Zhao at a press conference.
Zhao did not mention the fields in which more than a million uyghurs and members of other Muslim minority groups are being held.
The USA and other governments, as well as human rights groups, say that prison-like facilities objective drive away uyghurs their religious and cultural heritage, forcing them to declare allegiance to the Communist Party of China.
China, which initially denied the existence of the facilities, now says they are centers designed to provide vocational training and to prevent terrorism and religious extremism on a voluntary basis.
In his new book “Let us dream”, launched at the beginning of December, Francisco listed the “poor uyghurs“among the examples of groups persecuted for their faith.
The Pope wrote about the need to see the world from the peripheries and margins of society, “places of sin and misery, of exclusion and suffering, of sickness and loneliness”.
“I often think of persecuted people: the Rohingya, the poor uyghurs, the Yazidior Christians in Egypt and in Pakistan, killed by bombs that exploded while praying in the Church, “wrote Francisco.
The Pope refused to condemn directly China for the repression of religious minorities, including Catholics, much to the dismay of the United States and human rights groups.
The Vatican last month renewed its controversial agreement with Beijing to appoint Catholic bishops and Francis was careful not to say or do anything about it susceptible to offend the Chinese government.
China and the Vatican have not had formal relations since the Communist Party severed ties and arrested Catholic clergy shortly after taking power in 1949.