There is great excitment building about the upcoming trip to China by Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi, S.J. The cardinal, who was born Henan Province in 1923 and will visit his home and family there, as well as make formal and informal visits to Chinese officials and businesses.
The Jesuit cardinal is the bishop emeritus of Kaohsiung Diocese and retired in 2006.
Taiwan and the Holy See have full diplomatic relations, and the Chinese government has repeatedly reminded the Vatican of this slight. Althought it functions are a sovereign state, Mainland China regards Taiwan as a rogue province.
For its part, the Vatican has expressed a willingness to realign its diplomatic relationship, but that adjustment must be in the context of more general talks that secure the Catholic Church in China full religious freedom.