Historic agreement between Red China and NuVatican imminent, ROC-Taiwan foreign ministry says

Historic agreement between Red China and NuVatican imminent, ROC-Taiwan foreign ministry says

[Hat-tip to Christine Niles at Church Militant’s Headlines: “Vatican Readies to Recognize Communist-Controlled Church in China: Chinese Catholics accuse Vatican of selling out faithful Catholics”] 

Taiwan said Thursday that a historic agreement between China and the Vatican was likely to be imminent, but remained hopeful the move would not result in it losing its only diplomatic ally in Europe.

The foreign ministry said it had obtained information from “various sources” that an agreement between the Vatican and China on “religious affairs” was most likely to be signed in September or October.

Speculation has been rife that the Vatican is moving closer to an agreement with China over the major stumbling bloc of who ordains bishops.

 

 

But there are fears that would put Taiwan’s official ties with the Vatican at risk, as Beijing makes a concerted effort to poach its allies.

The Vatican is one of only 17 countries around the world that recognises Taipei instead of Beijing, but Pope Francis has sought to improve ties with China since he took office in 2013.

China still sees self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and demands that allies of Beijing must give up any official ties with the island.

Taiwan, which has around 300,000 Catholics, has lost five allies to Beijing in the past two years.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokesman Andrew Lee said the government would “not take lightly” any agreement between the two sides.

But asked whether the Vatican had given Taiwan any assurances that it would not sever official ties, Lee said he believed the deal would not touch on diplomatic recognition.

“I think the religious affairs agreement concerns issues of religious cooperation and exchanges, and will not involve issues of diplomatic ties,” he said at a briefing.

See also: Interview: ‘I know China’ – Cardinal Zen sticks to his guns in fight against Vatican deal with Beijing

“We hope our ties with the Vatican will last a very long time even if the agreement were signed,” he added.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China had “made efforts” to improve relations with the Holy See, without elaborating.

“We are willing to work together with the Vatican to promote dialogue and improve relations,” Geng added at a regular press conference Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Catholic press reported earlier this month that a new round of Sino-Vatican
negotiations was expected to be held in September and a deal could be signed in October.

 

There are an estimated 12 million Catholics in China, divided between a government-run association whose clergy are chosen by the Communist Party, and an unofficial church which swears allegiance to the Vatican.

The Vatican has not had diplomatic relations with Beijing since 1951, two years after the founding of the communist People’s Republic.

Previous attempts to restore ties have floundered over Beijing’s insistence that the Vatican must give up recognition of its rival Taiwan and promise not to interfere in religious issues in China.

Relations between Taiwan and China have deteriorated since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, as she does not recognise the island is part of “one China.”

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One comment on “Historic agreement between Red China and NuVatican imminent, ROC-Taiwan foreign ministry says

  1. [If NuVatican switches diplomatic relations from ROC-Taiwan to Red China, will The Donald recall Contessa Callista and her consort Newt from their long-term Roman holiday?]

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    United States recalls its diplomats from countries that broke relations with Taiwan

    A few days ago, the Senate introduced legislation to curb ties and aid to governments that break relations with Taiwan. On a previous occasion, Trump has threatened to recognise Taipei.

    Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The United States recalled its envoys to three countries from Central America and the Caribbean that recently cut diplomatic ties from Taiwan in favour of the People’s Republic of China.

    In a statement on Friday, the US Department of State said that it recalled the US ambassadors to the Dominican Republic and to El Salvador as well as US Chargé d’Affaires to Panama for consultation over these countries’ decision not to recognise Taiwan.

    For years, Taipei and Beijing have been engaged in a diplomatic tug-of-war over the former’s diplomatic status, offering financial support and other types of aid, as bargaining chips.

    Panama cut ties with Taiwan to align with Beijing last year, the Dominican Republic did the same last May, and El Salvador joined them in August.

    Beijing’s fight against Taipei has become even more intense after Tsai Ing-wen, leader of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), won the presidency in 2016.

    The DPP is suspected of seeking independence and Tsai, upon taking office, refused to acknowledge the principle of “one China”.

    At present, only 17 states recognise Taiwan, down from 22 two years ago. In Europe, only the Vatican has diplomatic relations with the island nation. But many more states have economic and cultural relations with the “rebel” island that Beijing wants to bring back to the fold.

    The United States is of Taiwan’s most important allies even though Washington granted diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979.

    The US is also the island’s top weapons supplier and is committed to defend it in case of an attack from the mainland.

    Three days ago, the US Senate introduced legislation authorising the State Department to curb ties and aid to any government that drops Taiwan.

    This position is bound to exacerbate existing tensions between the US and China in the wake of the ongoing trade war.

    US President Donald Trump has already threatened to recognise Taiwan if China does not stop its “manipulation of the yuan” and rectify the trade imbalance with the United States.

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