Taiwan Vice President Will Visit Vatican to 'Deepen Ties'

Taiwan's vice president will visit the Vatican to "deepen ties" after the island's only official ally in Europe made a historic deal with Beijing, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the landmark agreement between China and the Holy See on the appointment of bishops, which paved the way for a rapprochement between the Vatican and the communist country. That raised questions over the future of official ties between Taiwan and the Vatican as China makes a concerted effort to poach the island's dwindling number of diplomatic allies. China sees self-ruling democratic Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified and demands its allies forfeit recognition of the island. The Vatican currently officially recognizes Taipei, not Beijing. Vice president Chen Chien-jen will visit the Vatican on October 14 to attend the canonization of Pope John Paul VI, the foreign ministry said. The visit will include a private audience with Pope Francis and Chen will invite him to Taiwan, said vice minister of foreign affairs, Kelly Hsieh. Chen's trip would "deepen Taiwan-Vatican diplomatic relations", Hsieh told reporters. "The vice president will express his hopes that the Vatican will continue to pay attention to Taiwan, and also to continue to care for Taiwanese Catholics," Hsieh added. He reiterated the government's belief the Vatican would not "abandon" Taiwan. The last time a high-ranking Taiwanese official visited the Vatican was in 2016, when Chen also led a delegation for the canonization of Mother Teresa. Taiwan, which has around 300,000 Catholics, has lost five allies to Beijing in the past two years. 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". The Vatican has not had diplomatic relations with... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Taiwan Vice President Will Visit Vatican to 'Deepen Ties', simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Taiwan Vice President Will Visit Vatican to 'Deepen Ties'





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 2 October, 2018



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