China and the Vatican have extended an agreement on the appointment of bishops in the People’s Republic for another two years.
The agreement came about in 2018 after years of tug-of-war and, in addition to the Roman Catholic Church, also gives the Communist Party a say in the appointment of bishops.
The Beijing Foreign Ministry reported that the deal had been extended for two years after “friendly talks” between the two sides.
China severed diplomatic relations with the Vatican, which it had entered into in October 1942, in 1951. After the communist seizure of power in 1949, the Vatican continued to recognize Taiwan as the representative of all of China.
The small ecclesiastical state in the centre of Rome is now the only European state that still does. This leads to frictions with Beijing, which sees the island of Taiwan as a renegade province.
The People’s Republic has an estimated 12 million Roman Catholics, Taiwan around 450,000.