The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday reiterated the strong ties between Taiwan and its sole European diplomatic ally, the Holy See, amid renewed rumors that the Vatican and China are going to enter talks on resuming diplomatic relations.
“Diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Republic of China (ROC) have reached their 74th year. Our friendship has been stable and marked by frequent exchange events, including the ongoing special exhibition featuring artifacts from the Holy See at Taipei’s National Palace Museum,” Department of European Affairs Director-General Anna Kao (高安) told a morning news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Asked to comment on recent speculation that China and the Vatican could begin talks about restoring formal diplomatic ties after both sides have reportedly reached a consensus on the long-standing thorny issue regarding the appointment of Chinese bishops, Kao said the ministry would closely watch any dialogue between Beijing and the Holy See.
Kao added that the core interest of the Holy See is religious issues and that what it cares about is Catholics worldwide.
There have been sporadic rumors of the Vatican’s interest in establishing diplomatic ties with China, which renewed its calls that the city-state sever its ties with Taiwan following the election of Pope Francis in 2013.
In the meantime, concerns have been growing that China could revive its previous strategy of poaching Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to strong-arm president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) into coming to terms with the so-called “1992 consensus” and refraining from adopting any independence-leaning policies.
The “1992 consensus”— a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Separately yesterday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) hailed Vatican-ROC ties during a meeting at the Presidential Office Building with Monsignor Paul Russell, charge d’affaires ad interim of the Holy See.
Ma said Taiwan and Vatican’s friendship has remained unshakable and become firmer over time, citing the many visits made by Vatican’s cardinals and members of pontifical councils to Taiwan since 2008.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it