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Taiwanese religious leader asks pope to maintain diplomatic ties

2018/03/14 20:01:08

Liao Wu-jyh (廖武治, left) and Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso

Vatican City, March 14 (CNA) Liao Wu-jyh (廖武治), president of the Dalongdong Baoan Temple in Taipei, delivered a letter Wednesday to Pope Francis urging him to continue to maintain diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Holy See.

The letter, delivered during a visit by Liao to attend an interfaith dialogue, mentioned the 75 years of friendship between the two countries, as well as Taiwan's commitment to protecting religious freedom, one of their key shared values.

To that end, Liao expressed hope that the pope will look at the long relationship and continue to maintain diplomatic ties.

Liao's plea comes at a time when many international media outlets have reported that China and the Vatican are close to signing a breakthrough agreement on the appointment of bishops in China.

There has been speculation that this could open the way for the two countries to establish diplomatic ties, which, under the mainland's one-China policy, would require a severing of ties between Taiwan and the Vatican.

Liao visited Pope Francis as the leader of an eight-member delegation that is part of an ongoing series of interfaith dialogues between Taiwan and the Holy See.

The delegation also congratulated the pope on the fifth anniversary of his election and invited him to visit Taiwan.

(By Kuan-lin Liu and Huang Ya-shih)