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Taiwanese president hopeful on continued ties with Holy See

March 20, 2013

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, returning home after a visit to the Vatican where he met with Pope Francis, told reporters that he has "great hopes for our ties with the Vatican in the future."

Ma's visit to the Vatican had provoked a stern warning from Beijing that any closer ties between the Vatican and Taiwan would have serious consequences for the Holy See's relationship with mainland China. The Beijing regime insisted that "the Chinese government is the sole legal representative of all China."

The Vatican does not have formal diplomatic relations with China. Although Taiwan has an ambassador to the Holy See, the Vatican's representative in Taipei holds the rank of chargé d'affaires: a title indicating that the Holy See sees the representation in Taiwan as a temporary measure, to be abandoned when normal diplomatic ties with China are restored.


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