Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Vatican Two Step

Taiwan is playing host to a senior envoy from the Vatican amid speculation that the Holy See is planning to switch diplomatic recognition to the People's Republic. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran is giving hints that the Vatican may attempt to open diplomatic relations with China while maintaining official relations with Taiwan, something no country has yet been able to accomplish.

From the Taipei Times:
A senior Vatican official, whose visit to Taiwan prompted speculation that the Holy See may soon break ties with the nation, said yesterday that the Vatican would not abandon Taiwan even if it opens an embassy in China. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, a former Vatican foreign minister, said the Holy See would find an 'appropriate way' to maintain ties with Taiwan. 'When religious freedom is realized in China, then the Holy See is ready to change the nature of relations with Taiwan,' Tauran said in a speech in Taipei. 'If and when the normalization [of relations with China] happens, the Holy See will not abandon Taiwan,' said Tauran, who is scheduled to meet President Chen Shui-bian during his week-long stay. He did not elaborate, but added that the Holy See never took the initiative to break diplomatic relations with its allies.

Update: Is Taiwan's MOFA trying to convince the Vatican to go?