Is now the time for the Vatican to double down on ties with Taiwan?

Date: Nov 3, 2019
By: John L. Allen Jr.


Pope Francis meets a delegation of the Taiwan National Council of Churches, at the Vatican, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)

News Analysis

ROME – Fans of Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” may remember an episode in which President Bartlett is running for reelection and the White House is negotiating with his Republican opponent over debates. Bartlett’s side wants five and his opponent none, so they settle on two but are still divided over format.

Trying to figure out how to get the other team to budge, Bartlett at one point says the problem is that his side has nothing the other wants. One of his aides then says: “Sure we do … We have exactly one thing left that they want.”

His point is that by agreeing to just one debate, not two, they may be able to get the format they want. Bartlett goes on to crush his opponent in that exchange, and cruises to reelection.

The story comes to mind in light of a series on Crux over the last few days by Senior Correspondent Elise Harris, who was reporting from Taiwan. In the abstract, one might wonder why the Vatican even bothers with its diplomatic relations with Taiwan today, since it seems reasonably obvious that one day, sooner rather than later, they’ll downgrade the papal mission in Taipei in favor of diplomatic recognition by Beijing.    [FULL  STORY]

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