Pope under fire for praising China in interview

Pope Francis has come under criticism for lavishing praise on China, but not mentioning human rights issues and restrictions on Christians.

In an interview with the Asia Times, the Pontiff said the world need not fear China’s growing power.

Francis said China had always been, for him, a “reference point of greatness” and “a great culture, with an inexhaustible wisdom”.

The Pope made only the lightest of allusions to China’s troubled recent history.

He said a people sometimes “makes a mistake and goes backwards a little, or takes the wrong path and has to retrace its steps to follow the right way”.

The Pope’s comments were widely seen as part of the Vatican’s moves to improve relations with Beijing.

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