China open to exchanges with Vatican: FM

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/28 22:48:40

Pope Francis lights a candle at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter during a visit to Nagasaki, Japan on Sunday. Pope Francis railed against the use of nuclear weapons and the growing arms trade as he paid tribute to the "unspeakable horror" suffered by victims of the Nagasaki atomic bomb. Photo: AFP

 China appreciates the goodwill gesture by Pope Francis and is open to exchanges with the Vatican, said a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry in response to Pope Francis reportedly expressing his wish to visit Beijing.

The spokesman, Geng Shuang, said on Thursday that good communication has been maintained between two sides and the improvement in relations has been welcomed.

China sincerely and actively hopes to boost bilateral relations and welcomes more exchanges with the Vatican, Geng added.

Pope Francis reportedly said that he wants to visit Beijing and that he loves China while on his return journey from Japan to the Vatican.

China and the Vatican in September 2018 signed a landmark deal on the appointment of bishops, a thorny issue that caused decades of tension between the two sides.

With the improvement in China-Vatican relations, the two sides have been moderately engaged in activities to help get to know and understand each other, and to find more common ground for their shared missions, such as fighting organ trafficking and promoting ecological protection.

From May 28 to July 17, an exhibition of 78 valuable Chinese artworks from the Vatican Museum and 12 from Beijing's Palace Museum was held at the Palace Museum. This is the first time the Chinese artifacts from the Vatican Museum were brought back to their home country, which includes items that bear witness to centuries of China-Vatican communication.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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