China willing to improve ties
with Vatican on two conditions

A Chinese government official said on Tuesday that China is willing to maintain dialogue and explore ways to improve bilateral relations with the Vatican on the basis of two principles.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the Vatican should cut off its "diplomatic relationship" with Taiwan and stop interfering China's internal affairs under the excuse of religious affairs.

"If the above two issues can be properly resolved, the two sides will have favorable conditions to improve bilateral ties and the prospect of bilateral relations will be bright," he said.

Liu said China had always regarded the improvement of ties with the Vatican as important and had made unremitting efforts in this regard.

Liu also gave positive comment on the two-day meeting held last week by Vatican on Catholicism in China and Vatican's statement on Saturday. He said China appreciated Vatican's willingness to conduct constructive dialogue with China so as to normalize bilateral relations.

China hopes the Vatican could recognize China's policy on religious freedom and the fact that Catholicism has gained development in China, and take concrete actions to create the necessary conditions for the normalization of bilateral ties, Liu said.

Source: Xinhua