Sat, Sep 12, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan’s European ally, the Vatican, says remains loyal

‘THE REPORT IS UNTRUE’:The sole ally in Europe denied a report in Bowen Press that the Holy See would cut ties this year in favor of ties with Beijing

Staff writer, with CNA

Diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the Holy See are still solid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, denying a media report that the Vatican might sever ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing by the end of the year.

“The report is untrue,” ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said.

“Our bilateral diplomatic relations are solid and the two countries maintain close exchanges,” Wang said.

Wang was responding to a Thursday report on the online news outlet Bowen Press, that said the Holy See might establish diplomatic relations with Beijing by the end of the year or after the presidential election in January.

Asked about the news report, the Holy See’s representative to Taiwan, Paul Russell, said in an e-mail that “the Apostolic Nunciature [the Vatican embassy] in Taiwan is going about its work as per usual.

The Holy See and Republic of China [ROC] are planning a joint cultural collaboration, which is to take place at the beginning of next year,” Russell said.

Since last year, there have been rumors that relations between Taiwan and the Holy See might be adversely affected by Pope Francis’ efforts to improve ties with China.

However, the government said that its diplomatic relations with the Holy See remain solid and Russell has described the ties as “excellent.”

The Holy See is the nation’s only diplomatic ally in Europe.

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