Beijing reiterated demands this month that the Vatican must break its diplomatic links with Taiwan and practice “noninterference” in China’s internal affairs if the Roman Catholic Church wishes to improve its relations with the communist-ruled state.
“China’s stance on improving relations with the Vatican is consistent. Namely, the Vatican should sever the so-called diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and recognize the People’s Republic of China as the sole government representing China,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang as saying.
Qin was reacting to a 55-page letter issued June 30 by Pope Benedict XVI to Roman Catholics in China. The pontiff had called for increased cooperation between clandestine Catholic communities and those officially recognized by the government.