The Vatican appears to be seeking a rapprochement with China, almost 70 years after Beijing broke ties. But the Catholic Church has little to gain and much to lose from mending ties with the Communist Party-ruled country. And Pope Francis should be under no illusions: Any agreement the two sides may strike will be entirely on Beijing’s terms.
This month, the Vatican asked two underground Chinese bishops to step down in favor of their Beijing-approved counterparts, one of whom the church in Rome had already excommunicated. Then yesterday, the Vatican indicated it would recognize the legitimacy of seven Communist Party-approved bishops.… Seguir leyendo »
The atmosphere here is almost jubilant. The phone call last weekend from President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan to President-elect Donald J. Trump — the first contact between a Taiwanese president and an American president or president-elect since at least 1979 — has received rare bipartisan support here on this self-governing island off southern China. It was, many agree, a great thing for the country.
Still, in an interview on Tuesday, her first since the call, Ms. Tsai said that the implications of the direct contact with Mr. Trump were limited. “I have to stress that one phone call does not mean a policy shift,” she told me and a small group of other American journalists who traveled here on a reporting trip organized by the East-West Center, a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization.… Seguir leyendo »