22 May 2005
The NY Times today reports thawing relations between the new Pope and the Chinese government. Eager to help persecuted Chinese Catholics and of course expand the market of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI has signalled willingness to sever Vatican ties with Taiwan in order to make buddies with China. Getting Taiwan struck from the lists of international organisations helps confirm China's argument that Taiwan is not a real country but a breakaway province. Witness the battle over Taiwan's status in the World Health Organisation (particularly heated during the SARS crisis in 2003).