1951年，中国共产党夺取中国政权两年之后，切断了与罗马教廷的关系 – 罗马教廷是天主教会的最高管理机构。梵蒂冈与台湾保持官方关系。
China Calls on Vatican to Act on Improving Relations
China has called on the Roman Catholic Church to attempt to improve relations with the East Asian country by adapting Catholicism to Chinese society.
China's head of religious affairs, Wang Zou'an, expressed hope Tuesday that the Vatican will "take actual steps to create beneficial conditions for improving relations" between the church and China, according to the state news agency Xinhua.
Wang's remarks were made at a meeting of China's official Catholic Church in Beijing.
China severed relations with the Holy See -- the Catholic Church's supreme body of government -- in 1951, two years after the Communists assumed power in China. The Vatican has maintained official ties with Taiwan, which China claims as its own.
Since the split, China has maintained that the party-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association has the authority to appoint Chinese bishops. The Holy See insists that right belongs only to the pope. The dispute is one of the primary reasons Sino-Vatican relations have not been re-established.
Wang said the Chinese government hoped the Vatican would adopt a more flexible and pragmatic approach and take action to improve relations. He did not specify what actions the Chinese government would like the Vatican to take.
Prospects of an agreement between the two sides suffered a setback last week when a Chinese government-supported bishop who was excommunicated by the Vatican participated in the ordination of new bishops.
The Vatican said last week it was convinced Catholics in China are "waiting with trepidation for positive signals that would help them have trust" in discussions between the two sides "and hope for a future of unity and harmony."
The ruling Communist Party in China has long been concerned that opposition to the party could be spread by religious and other civic organizations outside its control.
Defector: North Korea has Big Nuclear Plans
Next year will be the most opportune time for North Korea to bolster its nuclear program because of upcoming leadership changes in the United States and South Korea, according to a senior North Korean official who defected recently to the South.
"With South Korea holding presidential elections and the U.S. undergoing an administration transition, the North sees 2017 as the prime time for nuclear development," said Thae Yong-ho, who was North Korea's second highest ranking diplomat in London.
Thae defected to South Korea in August, becoming the most senior North Korean official to defect in almost 20 years.
At a news conference Tuesday with South Korean reporters, Thae made clear he was not aware of the status of North Korea's nuclear program but expressed confidence that China would not severely discipline North Korea for its nuclear program because the North's disintegration could produce a combined U.S.-friendly Korea.
Thae said North Korean leader Kim Jung Un has no plans to relinquish his country's nuclear weapons even if he is offered large sums of money. The exiled diplomat said Kim is expediting the country's nuclear development program with the intent of possessing nuclear weapons by the end of next year.
North Korea conducted two nuclear tests this year and fired over 20 ballistic missiles. And it publicly promised to develop the ability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon.
President-elect Donald Trump has said he favors the manufacture of nuclear weapons by Japan and South Korea as a deterrent to North Korea.
Donald Trump will assume control of the executive branch of the U.S. government on January 20 and South Korea will hold a presidential election next year. Thae predicted North Korea will attempt to open dialog with the two new administrations in an attempt to obtain nuclear power status.