China-Vatican: historic meeting between ministers of foreign Affairs

Beijing | For the first time, ministers of foreign Affairs of China and the Vatican, two States without diplomatic relations for decades because of disputes of a religious order, the met, said Saturday an official media.

The Chinese Wang Yi and his counterpart, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, are seen on Friday in Munich, said the people’s Daily, organ of the communist Party of china (CPC). The German city hosts the Conference on security.

A meeting at the diplomatic level is the first time in at least six decades, the Vatican and the people’s Republic of China, having no diplomatic relations since the 1950s.

It intervenes in a context of warming of bilateral relations since the signing of a historic agreement in 2018 on the appointment of bishops in China.

“Today is the first meeting between the ministers of foreign Affairs of China and the Vatican, “ said Wang Yi.

“This will open more space for future exchanges between our two parties “, he said happily, according to the report published by the people’s Daily on its website.

The CCP in power is wary of any organization, including religious, that could threaten his authority. It has long been wary of the Vatican due to its potentially influences policy on the chinese catholics.

The estimated 10 million catholics in China are supposed not to expect the churches that are approved by the State, and whose clergy is validated by the PCC. But many also go to places of worship led by religious loyal to the pope.

Under the terms of the agreement as “preliminary” signed in 2018, pope Francis has recognized the chinese bishops who had been appointed by Beijing without stis approval. The text, however, gives both parties a right of scrutiny over appointments.

Despite the reconciliation, the restoration of formal ties between the two countries remains complicated to achieve.