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Taiwan-Vatican relations remain steady and positive: VP

2018/10/12 22:03:33

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See

The Vatican, Oct. 12 (CNA) Taiwan continues to maintain steady and positive relations with the Holy See, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) affirmed Friday amid concerns over a recent agreement between the Vatican and Beijing.

Diplomatic relations between the two sides have been in place for 76 years, and this solid foundation is not easily shaken, Chen said.

The vice president, who arrived at the Vatican to attend the canonization of Pope Paul VI, was responding to the landmark agreement the Vatican signed with Beijing last month on the appointment of bishops in China, which signaled a warming of their once-frigid relations.

The agreement is based purely on religious matters and will not affect bilateral ties, Chen said, adding that the Vatican is hoping such a deal would help with religious affairs in China and thus open up a new page for Catholics there.

Visits made by officials from the Holy See to Taiwan in recent months are a testament that the exchanges between Taiwan and the Holy See continue to flourish, he explained.

The trip also marked the second time Chen has attended a canonization ceremony in the Vatican after he was elected vice president in 2016.

During his four-day visit, he is expected to be received by Pope Francis before or after the ceremony.

The vice president will also engage in other activities, including a visit to Castel Gandolfo, Pope Paul VI's summer residence and the place where he died in August 1978.

(By Huang Ya-hsih and Ko Lin)