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China unfriendly to ask Vatican to sever ties with Taiwan: MAC

China unfriendly to ask Vatican to sever ties with Taiwan: MAC

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Wednesday that China has put on a unfriendly face in asking the Vatican to sever ties with the Republic of China on the eve of President Ma Ying-jeou's visit to the Holy See. Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi said China's statement is standard but "unacceptable." He was referring to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chungying 's statement March 14 in which she said the two basic principles for handling China-Holy See relations have remained unchanged since Pope Francis was elected. The following day, when asked about Ma's upcoming visit to the Vatican to attend the pope's inaugural Mass, Hua reaffirmed China's stance that the Vatican must sever ties with Taiwan and refrain from interfering in China's internal affairs. Ma led a Republic of China delegation to attend the inauguration of Pope Francis Tuesday. The Vatican is the ROC's only diplomatic ally in Europe. Wang urged China to weigh the impact of Hua's statement on cross-Taiwan Strait relations, saying that it is unhelpful in boosting bilateral ties. He said that China has many faces in dealing with Taiwan, and that this time, it has put on a unfriendly one.
But Taiwan's stance in dealing with China has always been to safeguard Taiwan's interests under any circumstances, he went on. Wang also said that cross-strait relations are complex. On one hand, both sides are closely affiliated in ethnicity and culture, but on the other, there is the fact of separate rule under different political systems over six decades and the two sides failing to see eye to eye on such values as democracy, human rights and rule of law.
He expressed the hope that the two sides can continue to have more exchanges to enhance bilateral relations. He also reiterated a welcome to Zhang Zhijun, new director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, to visit Taiwan at an appropriate time and in a suitable capacity when the conditions are right. He also said he would also like to visit China. He expressed hope that should Zhang visit Taiwan, "he will address me as Minister Wang, and I'll definitely call him Director Zhang," a reference to the fact that the two sides do not recognize the legitimacy of each other's officials. He added that if Zhang calls him only "Mr. Wang," then "it is better that we don't meet." (By Scarlet Chai and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-04-14 05:57 GMT+08:00