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Pope ready to travel to China John Paul II would travel immediately to China, if that country's authorities thought it was an opportune moment to normalise relations, a Vatican representative has said. "The Pope would be ready to sign an agreement with China tomorrow, if China so wished," said Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, last week. "The political problems could be resolved. Indeed, there already are technical solutions." The archbishop made his statements at the close of the two-day congress held in Rome to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci's arrival in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has stipulated two conditions for normalisation of relations with the Vatican: the severance of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and no "meddling," under religious pretext, in Chinese internal affairs. The latter might imply rejection of papal appointment of Chinese Catholic bishops. Archbishop Pittau, who spent many years as a missionary in Asia, said he does not think Taiwan is the problem. In order to resolve existing problems, "John Paul II has already thought of technical solutions, including for episcopal appointments," the archbishop clarified. These solutions will be proposed to Beijing, as soon as there is an opportunity to do so. "There is no issue to separate us," Archbishop Pittau added. SOURCE
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