The Chinese government has blocked plans for Pope John Paul to visit Hong Kong during an Asian tour later this year, according to a Roman Catholic bishop in Hong Kong.
China is blaming the Vatican’s links with Taiwan for the decision not to allow the Roman Catholic leader to visit Hong Kong, which was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. The Vatican is one of a handful of states which recognises Taiwan. Beijing, which views the island as a renegade province that should be returned to Chinese sovereignty, refuses to have diplomatic links with states recognizing Taiwan. Despite this, a Hong Kong newspaper revealed on August 11 that the Vatican had kept an unofficial envoy in the former colony since 1997.