- - Thursday, June 23, 2011

CHINA

New China-Vatican row brewing over bishops

BEIJING | China’s state-controlled Catholic Church says it will move swiftly to appoint new bishops in dioceses where there are none. The step is certain to worsen frictions with the Vatican.

Filling the more than 40 empty bishop’s seats is an urgent task because the vacancies are causing serious problems in the handling of church affairs, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted a spokesman for the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association as saying Thursday.

Bishops must be selected and ordained in an “active and prudent” way based on national conditions and pastoral and evangelizing work, the spokesman was quoted as saying.

VIETNAM

U.S. Navy: Visit not linked to South China Sea

HANOI | Vietnam and the United States are to hold joint naval activities next month, but they were long planned and are unconnected to regional tensions in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.

The event in the central Vietnamese city of Danang next month will last about one week and is “not an exercise” because there is no combat training, said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Morley, a Navy spokesman.

“There’s no connection at all” with territorial disputes simmering in the South China Sea,” he said. “It’s merely just a coincidence of timing.”

JAPAN

Chinese warships cross seas off Japan island

TOKYO | Japan’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that 11 Chinese warships were spotted in international waters off the country’s southern island of Okinawa.

No territorial violations were claimed by Japan, but the movements are sensitive because Japan and China have a dispute over small islands in the East China Sea.

On Thursday, the ministry said the Chinese warships were monitored passing from the Pacific Ocean into the East China Sea.

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