Monday, September 12, 2005

China bars Bishops but lets in Mickey Mouse

In what has been seen as a further souring of diplomatic ties to the Vatican, China has barred several Bishops from visiting Rome. The invitation was made to four Chinese clergymen, Anthony Li Duan of Xian, Luke Li Jingfeng of Fengxiang, Aloysius Jin Lukian of Shanghai and Joseph Wei Jingyi from Qiqihar.
Chinese authorities may be fearful that Bishops may be influenced by the Vatican Church. But officials in China cited the age of the Bishops and the Vatican’s continuing strong ties with Taiwan as being the main deciding factors the IHT has reported. China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and the relationship between the two countries has been strained for many years. Earlier this year Chinese authorities criticized the Vatican for inviting Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-Bian to Pope John Paul II’s funeral [BBC] Although China has been widely criticized for restrictions on foreign travel for its citizens, change is occurring – even if somewhat slowly for the country’s critics. But the future looks bright for China’s move onto the world stage. Today a new Disney theme park was opened in Hong Kong by Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong and other top Chinese officials [Xinhua News Agency / CNN ]. The 3.5 billion dollar enterprise is set to bring in thousands of visitors throughout the year and increase the Chinese tourist industry significantly.
[20:50 GMT 12/09/2005]

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