Monday, November 21, 2005

US pressures the Holy See?

Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran is going to Taiwan later this week and The Times of London recounts the current situation of the Holy See, the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China with all the requisite Sodano quotes, etc. One interesting paragraph stood out:

Diplomats said that Vatican moves to mend fences with China had the “active backing” of the Bush Administration. Francis Rooney, the new US Ambassador to the Holy See, said that Mr Bush hoped that a rapprochement would give “further impetus to religious freedom in China”.

Read the complete article Taiwan may be left in limbo as Vatican and China make up.

I admit, the title of this post is a bit misleading. Do I think that the United States Government is actively pressuring the Holy See on its China policy? Doubtful. But then of course, ever since the early 90s, US policy towards the PRC has been disagreeable to me. I can just see the State Department nudging things along here and there in a quiet way in order to further bring the PRC into the community of nations. After all, after over a decade of engagement, human rights still are terrible. So the only sensible thing to do is to further engage the Chicoms. You know, that tried and tested way of isolating the Soviet Union just takes too long.

If Mr. Rooney's statement that Mr. Bush is hoping that a rapprochement will lead to religious freedom in the People's Republic is correct, Mr. Bush ought to get along quite well with all the other optimists in the Secretariat of State.

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