(TibetanReview.net, Apr18’19) – In a sign of the broadening of the improving ties between the two sides, China has invited the Vatican to participate in the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition to be held in late Apr 2019. This is despite the fact that repression of Christianity, like in the case of Buddhism and Islam, is particularly severe today under President Xi Jinping’s Sinicization of religion policy.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Apr 17 that the invitation for a representative of the Vatican to participate in the event was extended by the event’s organizing committee, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 17.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, will attend relevant activities as the Vatican’s chief representative for the expo, the reported cited Lu as saying at a press briefing.
“We hope to work with all participants to promote green development through the expo,” Lu has said, adding, a total of 110 countries and international organizations will attend the expo.
On the ties between China and the Vatican, a matter of controversy to some outspoken Christian leaders, Lu has said the two sides “have maintained contact and consultations” to push forward the improvement of their relations since they signed a provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops last September.