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Thursday, April 13, 2006

No timetable for establishing Sino-Vatican diplomatic relations: official

China has no timetable for establishing Sino-Vatican diplomatic relations, said a senior Chinese official in charge of religious culture communication on Wednesday, refuting rumors that the two sides plan to enter such relations before 2008.

Qi Xiaofei, vice president of China's Religious Culture Communication Association made the remarks when answering the question at a press conference on the First World Buddhist Forum, which is scheduled to be held between April 13-16 in Hangzhou and Zhoushan of East China's Zhejiang Province.

The official, also deputy director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs of China, said that China has definite principles on promoting normal relations with Vatican that no one is allowed to interfere in China's internal affairs or try to create "two Chinas".

During an interview with Xinhua, he urged Vatican to take concrete action by showing sincerity to improve Sino-Vatican relations

"We have two clear and consistent principles on handling Sino-Vatican relations. Vatican must sever the so-called 'diplomatic relations' with Taiwan and recognize the Chinese government as the sole legitimate government of China and not interfere in our internal affairs in the name of religion," he reiterated.

Source: Xinhua

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