Amid concern over what a Vatican decision to renew its 2018 accord with Beijing would mean for the Holy See’s diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, Joanne Ou, spokesperson for Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told journalists that the Vatican had stressed that its agreement was pastoral rather than political.
“The Vatican has assured us repeatedly that the bishop appointment deal with China is a religious rather than a diplomatic matter,” Ou said at a press conference on September 15, according to the national news agency of Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC).
The Holy See is the only remaining country in Europe that recognizes Taiwan as a country. For 77 years, the Holy See has had formal diplomatic relations with the ROC, while the Church has not had an official diplomatic presence on the mainland People’s Republic of China (PRC) since it was officially expelled by Beijing in 1951. [FULL STORY]