Sadly, with the current regime of China, I don't see much room to improve relations. Can the Holy See do much of anything besides either take a hard line or capitulate to Chinese demands?Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said that Beijing hoped the pope, who was elected on Wednesday, would work with Chinese officials on improving relations. But, she said, the Vatican “must stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, including in the name of religion."She also said the Vatican must sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan before ties with Beijing improve. China considers Taiwan a renegade province that is part of its territory.
But perhaps there is hope for improvement on horizon. China has only just recently installed its Fith Generation of leadership. And I've read there is hope for real political change with the Sixth Generation. That is still at least a decade away, though.