Chinese, Vatican foreign ministers hold first meeting

17 Février, 2020, 05:40 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Chinese, Vatican foreign ministers hold first meeting

Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi advised against the USA from taking "unnecessary" coronavirus response actions that could be detrimental towards the economy and travel during an interview with Reuters.

Friday's meeting was the latest in a series of signs of improving relations in recent weeks.

Last month, the pope praised what he called China's "great commitment" to contain the coronavirus outbreak and later the Vatican's charity arm sent hundreds of thousands of medical masks to China as a goodwill gesture.

The approximately 12 million Catholics in China have been divided for decades between a government-led association, whose clergy was elected by the atheist communist party, and an unofficial clandestine church loyal to the Vatican. In a statement, the Vatican said the talks were "cordial" and that contacts between the two sides had seen "positive developments".

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On behalf of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Zarif conveyed once again sympathies and respect to Xi and the Chinese people, saying that the Iranian government and people will continue to provide China with all necessary support and assistance. The Vatican is the only European diplomatic ally of self-ruled Taiwan, which is viewed by China as a breakaway province awaiting reunification.

"A concerted worldwide response as well as mutual understanding, trust and support across borders is required to fight the novel coronavirus epidemic", he said at a joint press conference with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, after attending the latest round of China-Germany strategic dialogue on diplomacy and security in Berlin. The law in China requires priests and bishops to register and align with the country's official church.

The foreign ministers of China and the Vatican have met in the first such high-level encounter between the sides, which do not have diplomatic ties, Beijing's state media said Saturday.

The current outbreak has been effectively controlled, he said, adding that China, a big country with a civilization of 5,000 years, has experienced various trials and tribulations in history. Beijing has criticised the United States for banning arrivals from China and rejected U.S. accusations that it has lacked transparency in dealing with the outbreak.

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