China proud of having good friend like Serbia: Chinese FM

Clay Curtis
February 18, 2020

"China has the right to develop itself and the Chinese people have the right to live a better life", Wang said. The conviction is that not only will Chinese believers benefit over time from being able to organize routine pastoral life out in the open, but the Vatican may be able to gradually draw China into a more constructive role among the community of nations.

As the year 2021 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, Kurz said, Austria will take it as an opportunity to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of both countries, to strengthen cooperation in areas such as economy and trade, and tourism, as well as to push for fresh progress in the Austria-China friendly strategic partnership.

Wang made the remarks during his meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC). In a statement, the Vatican said the talks were "cordial" and that contacts between the two sides had seen "positive developments".

Diplomatic relations between the two have been severed, as China refuses to accept bishops approved by the Pope. But under the terms of the deal agreed in September 2018, both Beijing and the Vatican now have a say in appointing Catholic bishops. Conservative Catholics objected to the pact, accusing the Vatican of having sold out to the communist government. The first bishop to be ordained under the deal was Yao Shun of the diocese of Ulanqab in northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in August past year.

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"A concerted global 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.

Wang also claimed that China has been "very open and transparent" about the way it has handled the outbreak by releasing information to global countries about the virus. Pope Francis has recognised seven clergy appointed by China as part of the deal, despite fears the accord would be used by Beijing to further crack down on worshippers outside the official church.

China, meanwhile, already rivals the United States as the greatest hard power on the planet, and some pundits use the term "Chinese century" to refer to the idea that the 21 century is destined to witness China's ascendancy - some as a straight prediction, others as an alarm created to rouse the US and the West to step up their game.

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