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China tells underground clergy to lie low during APEC forum

Chinese officials told underground Catholic clergy in Shanghai not to "wander around" during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in their city.

A church source told UCA News that Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang of Shanghai, a prominent church leader, and other priests of the underground church in the Shanghai Diocese were given the warning ahead of the APEC meeting, which is now underway.

"I do not know yet if Bishop Fan has to leave his home, as US President George W. Bush has not arrived," the church source added.

The international conference brought top officials and more than 3000 journalists from around the world. The notice to the clerics differs slightly from past government action when important dignitaries visited Shanghai. Often in the past, underground church leaders were required to leave the city.