Taiwan should view better China-Vatican ties as positive: official

Taiwan should look at possible dialogue between China and the Vatican in a positive light and this is not a zero-sum game in which either Taiwan or China must lose its friendship with the Holy See, Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Chih-chung (???) said Sunday.

Wu made the comment following media reports that the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Saturday that the Vatican is hopeful it can improve ties with China after decades of tension.

Beijing severed links with the Vatican in 1951 shortly after the Communist Party took power and launched a crackdown on organized religion but Pope Francis is pushing to improve relations after decades of mistrust, according to media reports.

When asked whether Taiwan's diplomatic ties with the Vatican will be affected if China improves relations with the Holy See, Wu told local media reporters after attending a seminar that relations between the Holy See and Taiwan are solid due to their shared belief in the fundamental rights of religious freedom and democracy.

For the foreseeable future, Taiwan's relations with the Vatican should remain stable, Wu said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' most important task is letting the Republic of China and the Holy See maintain normal diplomatic relations. Currently, their relations are stable and Vice President Chen Chien-jen's (???) planned visit to the Vatican next month as special envoy to the canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa will not change.

However, Wu said in an article issued during the forum that if China continued its opposition to Taiwan's participation in certain international organizations, this could hurt its image in the international community and generate antipathy from Taiwan to the detriment of cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

Wu also called for a consensus between Taiwan and China to create a "win-win" situation for the two sides.

Source: Focus Taiwan