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Top official: one-China principle, non-interference prerequisites for China-Vatican ties
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15:44, December 20, 2008

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Only when the Vatican severs its ties with Taiwan and stops interfering into China's internal affairs can the two sides improve their relations, said a top Chinese official on Friday.

The two principles must be followed when seeking improvement of the relations between China and the Vatican, said Du Qinglin, head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Du, also vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks at a seminar marking the 50th anniversary of the selection and consecration of bishops of Chinese Catholic churches.

"The Vatican must not interfere in China's internal politics, including using religion to interfere in our country's domestic affairs," said Du.

Du reiterated that the Vatican should cut off its "so-called diplomatic relationship" with Taiwan and recognize the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government representing China.

"Only on the basis of these two fundamental principles can both sides have constructive dialogue, overcome difficulties, narrow differences and make real progress towards improving relations," Du said.

Over the past five decades, Chinese Catholic churches, out of the needs of their own development, have selected and ordained more than 170 bishops, Du said.

He urged to continue the selection and ordination work in order to fill the vacancies of bishops and advance the development of Catholicism in China.

Source: Xinhua

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