China to Vatican: Drop ties with Taiwan

Associated Press

Beijing, July 2:

The Vatican must cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan before Beijing can improve relations with the Holy See, a Chinese religious affairs official reiterated today. “The Vatican must sever its diplomatic ties with Taiwan and recognise the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government that represents the whole of China,” the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Guo Wei from the State Administration of Religious Affairs as saying. China demands that other nations must severe ties with Taiwan before it will open official relations. The Vatican is Taiwan’s only European ally. About 4 million Chinese worship at official churches, while foreign experts say up to 12 million more do so at an underground church. Priests and bishops of the underground church are regularly arrested and harassed.