O Italian cardinal held a meeting in Beijing on Ukraine with the Chinese government’s representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, despite the fact that the Vatican and China have not maintained diplomatic relations since 1951.
The meeting took place in an “open and cordial environment”, according to the statement from the Holy See.
“The need to join forces to promote dialogue and find paths that lead to peace was highlighted” after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Vatican underlined in the same note.
The meeting in Beijing focused on “the war in Ukraine and its dramatic consequences” and also addressed “the problem of food security, with the hope that cereal exports can be resumed soon, especially to the most vulnerable countries” , you can still read.
Zuppi’s trip to China ends this Friday.
In May, the Argentine pope established a peace mission to look for initiatives that “contribute to reducing tensions in the conflict in Ukraine”, entrusting it to this cardinal, renowned mediator and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
In recent months, Zuppi traveled to Ukraine to meet its President Volodymyr Zelensky and then flew to Moscow, where he was received by the Russian Federation’s leader for foreign policy affairs, Yuri Ushakov, and the Presidential Commissioner for the Rights of the Child. in Russia, Maria Lvova-Belova.
Matteo Zuppi also held a “positive” meeting with the influential Russian Patriarch Cyril, and in 2016, Francis was the first pope to meet with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in a millennium.
In July, the pontifical emissary went to Washington to meet with the President of the United States Joe Biden, the second Catholic head of state in the country’s history.
China and Vatican City have not maintained official diplomatic relations since 1951, following the rise to power of communists and the expulsion of foreign priests.
The cardinal’s visit to Beijing marks progress in the thaw between the parties.
Since the start of the war, China, which opposes sanctions against Moscow, has reiterated the importance of respecting the territorial integrity of countries, including Ukraine, and the “legitimate security concerns of all parties”, referring to Russia .
The military offensive launched on February 24, 2022 by Russia in Ukraine caused, according to the most recent UN data, the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).
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