China Repents and Seeks to Woo Pope

After years of tensions between Beijing and the Vatican, confidential discussions are currently underway to restore diplomatic relations between the two, according to this story from The Times:

Liu Bainian, the de facto head of Beijing’s official Patriotic Church, has said on several occasions that he would like to welcome the Pope to China once an agreement has been reached.

While the Vatican says it has received no formal invitation, observers say Liu’s words would have been uttered only with approval from the highest levels.

The announcement of mutual recognition and a papal visit would be a propaganda coup for China. It would counter the negative publicity that has stunned Beijing recently, culminating in the decision by Steven Spielberg, the film director, to end his involvement with the Olympics over China’s policies in Sudan.

Read more about China’s relationship with the Vatican, via CDT.

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