- Jan 18, 2020
Pope Francis managed an airborne diplomatic dance by sending telegrams of greetings to the leaders of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan as he flew through their airspace on his way from Thailand to Japan.
Being the lone state in Europe to still recognize Taiwan leaves the Vatican with exactly one thing China wants — which may just afford Rome the only leverage it’s likely to get.
One of Taiwan’s leading solar energy companies has found a natural ally for their ecological agenda in the Vatican under Pope Francis, who is widely known for his environmental advocacy.
A top official in the Taiwanese Catholic Church has voiced doubt that a controversial secret agreement between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops actually exists on paper, suggesting that the deal was more of an exchange of words than formalities.
As Taiwan rapidly becomes increasingly isolated in the international community, having recently lost two more diplomatic allies, they are bolstering their image as a stable democracy where freedoms are enjoyed that are not in neighboring China.
A year after the Vatican made its secret agreement with China on the appointment of bishops, top Taiwanese officials have voiced doubt that the deal is making a difference for Catholics on the ground, and voiced hope that the Holy See would not drop Taipei in favor of Beijing, as some fear.