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Taiwan to attend Vatican ceremony, despite threats from China
Taiwan's president has decided to attend the installation ceremony of Pope Francis in Vatican City, a rare move that's sure to spark China's ire.
Earlier this week, China welcomed the new pope, but in the same breath, also advised him against dealing with Taiwan. A member of China's top government circle sent a message to the Vatican that Taiwan was a Chinese territory, not a sovereign nation.
On Friday, Vice Foreign Minister Shih Yeh-ping said Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and first lady Christina Chou are nevertheless leading the nation's delegation to the Vatican ceremony, The Associated Press reports. The Vatican is Taiwan's only ally in Europe; the island has diplomatic relations with only 23 countries, AP reports.
China did not immediately respond to Taiwan's announcement, AP reports. The two split into separate governments after a 1949 civil war.
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About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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