US embassy cable - 01VATICAN2531

VATICAN NON-REACTIONS ON CHINA AND DEMARCHE ON TAIWAN ARMS TALKS.

Identifier: 01VATICAN2531
Wikileaks: View 01VATICAN2531 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Vatican
Created: 2001-05-09 07:08:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: VT CH PREL PGOV PHUM KIRF PINR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T VATICAN 002531 
 
SIPDIS 
 
BEIJING PASS CHENGDU 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DRL (FARR); EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE); EAP/CM 
 
SHENYANG FOR PAUL SIMON 
 
FROM EMBASSY VATICAN/MESSAGE NO. 65/01 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/29/11 
 
TAGS: VT, CH, PREL PGOV PHUM KIRF PINR 
SUBJECT: VATICAN NON-REACTIONS ON CHINA AND DEMARCHE 
ON TAIWAN ARMS TALKS. 
 
REF A: STATE 72589  REF B: VATICAN 00747 
REF C: BEIJING 3977 
 
(U) CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES A.I. JOSEPH 
MERANTE. REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
1.  (S) POLOFF DELIVERED REFTEL DEMARCHE POINTS ON 
APRIL 27 TO MONSIGNOR ROTA-GRAZIOSI, VATICAN CHINA 
DESK OFFICER.  ROTA-GRAZIOSI WELCOMED USG APPROACH BUT 
RESPONDED THAT THE VATICAN MAINTAINED CAREFUL 
NEUTRALITY ON SECURITY QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE PRC 
AND TAIWAN AND DECLINED TO OFFER COMMENT. 
 
2.  (C) POLOFF USED OCCASION TO DISCUSS PRC DETENTION 
OF UNDERGROUND CATHOLIC CLERGY, RAISING THE CASE OF 
BISHOP SHI ENXIANG. ROTA-GRAZIOSI ADMITTED THE VATICAN 
WAS CONVINCED BISHOP SHI HAD BEEN DETAINED BUT HE 
DECLINED TO STATE WHETHER THE VATICAN HAD RECEIVED 
INDEPENDENT CONFIRMATION.  HE SHOWED ONLY SUBDUED 
CONCERN, NOTING THAT DETENTIONS OF THIS NATURE WERE 
ROUTINE FOR THE EASTER AND CHRISTMAS SEASON AND 
CONSTITUTED A FORM OF HABITUAL STATE HARASSMENT. ROTA- 
GRAZIOSI APPEARED OBLIVIOUS TO USG AND OTHER 
DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES ON BEHALF OF BISHOP SHI.  WHILE 
HE WELCOMED USG INTEREST IN BISHOP SHI AND OTHER 
DETAINED CLERGY, ROTA-GRAZIOSI NEITHER REQUESTED NOR 
PROVIDED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.  HE STRESSED THAT THE 
VATICAN WAS NOT SEEKING SPECIAL TREATMENT FROM THE USG 
ON BEHALF OF THE UNDERGROUND CLERGY IN CHINA, YET HE 
                          SECRET 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  02531  090723Z 
ENJOINED THE USG TO CONTINUE TO PROMOTE RELIGIOUS 
FREEDOM FOR ALL RELIGIONS IN THE PRC. 
 
3.  (C) ROTA-GRAZIOSI ACKNOWLEDGED VATICAN-PRC 
RAPPROCHEMENT WAS AT AN IMPASSE.  HE LAMENTED THE 
DISASTROUS CHOICE OF DATE -- OCTOBER 1, CHINESE 
NATIONAL DAY - FOR THE MASS BEATIFICATION OF CHINESE 
MARTYRS IN A VATICAN CEREMONY.  HE INSISTED THIS WAS A 
BUREAUCRATIC BLUNDER CAUSED BY THE COMPLICATED 
CALENDAR OF EVENTS IN THE JUBILEE YEAR, A REMARK 
MISSION HAS HEARD REPEATEDLY WITHIN VATICAN CIRCLES. 
HE REGRETTED THAT THE PRC CHOSE TO EXPLOIT THE 
VATICAN'S CHOICE OF DATE AS A PRETEXT TO ASSAIL THE 
BEATIFICATIONS AND HEIGHTEN TENSIONS.  HE MENTIONED 
THAT THE PRC HAD NOT MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENT WHEN 
THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH SIMILARLY BEATIFIED 
CHRISTIAN MARTYRS OF THE CHINESE REVOLUTION A MONTH 
EARLIER. 
 
4.  (C) ROTA-GRAZIOSI BRUSHED ASIDE REPORTS THAT THE 
VATICAN AND THE PRC HAD BEEN ON THE VERGE OF A 
BREAKTHROUGH IN RELATIONS PRIOR TO THE CONTROVERSIAL 
BEATIFICATION CEREMONY ON OCTOBER 1.  ROTA-GRAZIOI 
ATTRIBUTED THE RUMORS DIRECTLY TO THE PRC, WHICH HE 
SAID HOPED THEREBY TO EMBELLISH ITS CANDIDACY FOR THE 
2008 OLYMPIC GAMES. 
 
5.  (C) COMMENT:  ROTA-GRAZIOSI EXHIBITS A DEGREE OF 
CAUTION WITH USG INTERLOCUTORS THAT IS UNUSUAL EVEN BY 
THE VATICAN'S USUAL RESERVED STANDARDS.  HE AVOIDS 
MEETINGS WHEN POSSIBLE.  ROTA-GRAZIOSI HAS BEEN 
                          SECRET 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  02531  090723Z 
INVOLVED IN VATICAN PRC POLICY SINCE 1991, FIRST AS AN 
ASSISTANT TO ARCHBISHOP CELLI, FORMER VATICAN DFM AND 
PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT OF ITS CHINA POLICY, AND SINCE 
1995 AS THE VATICAN'S CHINA DESK OFFICER.  MERANTE 
 
                          SECRET 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA02531 - Classification: SECRET 


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