US embassy cable - 02VATICAN2901

SUBJECT: NO RED CARPET FOR TAIWAN PRESIDENT AT VATICAN.

Identifier: 02VATICAN2901
Wikileaks: View 02VATICAN2901 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Vatican
Created: 2002-06-14 10:18:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: CH IT PREL TW VT
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.


 
C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 002901 
 
SIPDIS 
 
EUR/WE (D.MENNUTI); EAP/CM; EAP/RSP/TC 
BEIJING ALSO FOR AMCONSUL CHENGDU 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/14/2012 
TAGS: CH, IT, PREL, TW, VT 
SUBJECT: SUBJECT: NO RED CARPET FOR TAIWAN PRESIDENT AT 
VATICAN. 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR JIM NICHOLSON.  REASONS 1.5(B,D 
). 
 
 1. (C) SUMMARY: PLANS ARE AFOOT FOR TAIWAN PRESIDENT CHEN TO 
TRANSIT ITALY THIS JULY ON TRAVEL FROM TAIPEI TO AFRICA, 
ACCORDING TO TAIWAN EMBOFF, YET THE VATICAN IS NOT PUTTING 
OUT THE RED CARPET.  TAIWAN FM EUGENE Y.H. CHIEN MET MAY 30 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  02901  140953Z 
WITH VATICAN FM ARCHBISHOP JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, YET REACHED NO 
AGREEMENT ON VATICAN MEETINGS FOR PRESIDENT CHEN. BEHIND 
CLOSED DOORS, THE VATICAN PROTESTED TAIWAN DOMESTIC POLICIES 
THAT IT BELIEVES BLOCK CHURCH EXPANSION. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
1. (C)TAIWAN EMBOFF PETER TING TOLD POLOFF JUNE 5 THAT TAIWAN 
FOREIGN MINISTER EUGENE Y.H. CHIEN'S MAY 30 MEETING WITH 
VATICAN FM JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN BROUGHT WHAT HE CALLED THORNY 
BILATERAL ISSUES TO THE FORE.  FM TAURAN LODGED A COMPLAINT 
ABOUT TAIPEI'S DELISTING OF DECEMBER 25 AS A TAIWAN NATIONAL 
HOLIDAY (PREVIOUSLY JUSTIFIED TO COMMEMORATE THE PROMULGATION 
OF THE 1936 CONSTITUTION.)  TAURAN FURTHER PROTESTED TAIPEI 
ZONING LAWS WHICH, THE VATICAN CLAIMS, IMPEDE CONSTRUCTION OF 
NEW SEMINARIES. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THERE WAS NO VATICAN 
AGREEMENT FOR MEETINGS WITH TAIWAN PRESIDENT CHEN SHUI-BIAN 
SHOULD HE TRANSIT ITALY IN JULY. 
 
2.  (C) TAIWAN PRESIDENT CHEN IS TENTATIVELY PLANNING A VISIT 
TO AFRICA IN JULY THAT WOULD INCLUDE TRANSIT TRAVEL THROUGH 
INDIA AND ITALY, ACCORDING TO TAIWAN EMBOFF.  TAIWAN, WHICH 
ENJOYS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THE VATICAN, WOULD NORMALLY 
SEEK A VISIT, YET THE VATICAN, TING SAID, HAS NOT BEEN 
ENCOURAGING.  CONSEQUENTLY, TAIWAN WAS NOW THINKING IN TERMS 
OF AN OVERNIGHT AIRPORT STOP AT MILAN AND A PRIVATE DINNER, 
POSSIBLY WITH PROMINENT VATICAN OR GOI LEADERS, ACCORDING TO 
TING. 
 
3.  TAIWAN FM CHIEN ALSO SAW FORMER VATICAN 
DFM ARCHBISHOP CLAUDIO CELLI.  CELLI, WHO AS DFM REACHED A 
BREAKTHROUGH AGREEMENT WITH VIETNAM ON RELIGIOUS PRACTICE, 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  02901  140953Z 
NOW HAS PRINCIPAL OVERSIGHT OF PRC-VATICAN DIALOG. TING SAID 
CHIEN AND CELLI DISCUSSED THE STATUS OF VATICAN-PRC DIALOG -- 
STALLED UNTIL THE PRC RESOLVES SUCCESSION OF PARTY LEADERSHIP 
-- AND LONG-TERM IMPLICATIONS FOR VATICAN-TAIWAN RELATIONS. 
SINCE 1999 VARIOUS VATICAN OFFICIALS HAVE VOCALLY REITERATED 
THE STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF STATE (PRIME 
MINISTER-EQUIVALENT) CARDINAL SODANO THAT THE VATICAN IS 
READY TO DOWNGRADE TIES WITH TAIPEI OVERNIGHT IF BEIJING 
AGREES TO DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS ON ACCEPTABLE TERMS.  TING 
ADMITTED TAIWAN INCREASINGLY VIEWED THIS VATICAN STANCE WAS 
INSULTING, A MARKED DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERALLY CAUTIOUS AND 
POSITIVE COMMENTARY THAT HIS MISSION RESERVES FOR THE 
VATICAN, THE SOLE GOVERNMENT IN EUROPE TO RECOGNIZE TAIWAN. 
 
4.  COMMENT:  TAIWAN LATELY HAS BEEN TESTING THE LIMITS OF 
ITS VATICAN FRIENDSHIP AS WELL AS OF THE LATERAN ACCORDS, THE 
ITALIAN-VATICAN AGREEMENT THAT INTER ALIA REQUIRES ITALY 
GRANT TRANSIT VISAS FOR FOREIGN OFFICIALS ON VATICAN VISITS. 
TAIWAN VP ANNETTE LU SWUNG THROUGH THE  VATICAN IN MARCH FOR 
WHAT THE VATICAN'S CHINA DESK OFFICER, MSGR. ROTA-GRAZIOSI, 
DISMISSED AS A MEANINGLESS CEREMONIAL MEETING WITH FM TAURAN. 
 FM CHIEN'S MEETINGS ARE A PRELUDE TO AN ATTEMPTED 
PRESIDENTIAL VISIT THAT THE VATICAN IS UNLIKELY TO GRANT. 
THE VATICAN IS SUPPORTIVE OF ITS TAIWAN FRIENDS, YET WILL NOT 
BE PARTY TO GRATUITOUS PROVOCATIONS OF THE PRC, PARTICULARLY 
AMID THE RUN-UP TO THE PRC PARTY CONGRESS THIS FALL AND THE 
VATICAN'S EVIDENT HOPE TO KICK-START DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS 
SOON THEREAFTER. 
NICHOLSON 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  02901  140953Z 
 


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