Elisabeth Rosenthal: Catholic Church, China taking steps toward renewing diplomatic ties

From the IHT, via the San Jose Mercury News:

The Roman and the Chinese government are actively exploring the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, with contacts between the sides warming to the point that the ailing John Paul II quietly received a quasi-official Chinese delegation in the late last year.

In a half-dozen meetings in Rome and Beijing, starting in early 2004, both sides have indicated an increased willingness to yield on differences that have long divided China and the Vatican, which severed ties in 1951, people present at some of the discussions said.

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