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Vatican asks US to intercede with China
( 2001-07-24 09:35 ) (7 )

The Vatican on Monday asked Washington to try and persuade China to set up a direct line of communications with the "Holy See", a Vatican source said.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the request was made during a meeting between US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano and their aides.

"Given the United States' privileged position in relations with China, both economic and political, Sodano asked Bush to help convince China to open up a channel of communications with the Vatican," the official source said.

The meeting included Bush and his national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on the US side and Sodano and Foreign Minister Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran on the Vatican side.

It took place after Bush held private talks with Pope John Paul II at his summer residence south of Rome.

Beijing insist that Vatican stop interfering in its internal affairs, and must first sever "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan before relations can be normalised.



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