The latest polls reveal the Taiwanese no longer feel Chinese and disagree with the 1992 Consensus agreement which establishes the principle of one country (albeit two systems). China would never accept a proclamation of independence. Storm clouds are gathering as 2024 gets closer, the year of the elections.
For the first time in 60 years, China’s population decreased by 850,000. It’s the long-term effect of strict birth control policies. But, the demographic crisis might open up a social and economic disaster which the Chinese regime would have difficulty responding to at the moment. The Chinese crisis is only mirroring the crisis of Western countries, which are following the same principles that lead China to ruin.
The conclusion of the XX Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, marking the total centralisation of power in the hands of Xi Jinping, goes well beyond expectations. Xi prepares for conflict, targets Taiwan and only appoints his loyalists: the priority is no longer the economy but his power and the modernisation of the army. It’s a clear message for the Holy See, which has just announced the renewal of the Agreement for the appointment of bishops, interference will not be tolerated.
From Ukraine to the Balkans, from the Middle East to Asia-Pacific, tensions are boiling over and becoming more dangerous by the day. Especially disturbing is the fact that there are no firefighters on hand when fires break out. And the crisis in Taiwan is particularly dangerous because the equilibrium rests on certain fictions.
Africa wants China as a partner because it expects nothing in terms of transparency and human rights. Now the African Union is pointing to China as a model for development. This is not a good example: China is still a poor (as well as repressed) country. On the other hand, the major Chinese investments in Africa risk being lost in collapsing states.
The sacrifice of the young people who died 32 years ago for freedom and democracy in China is evermore relevant today. As long as the regime does not recognise that crime, it means it believes it is right to kill defenceless people in the name of an alleged “general interest”. But, we won’t lose hope. This is the homily Cardinal Zen gave in Hong Kong last June 4, during the memorial mass to remember the victims of Tienanmen Square.
Today the Church celebrates the 120 Chinese martyrs: bishops, priests, nuns, lay people. An awkward story for those today, who have overturned the values at stake to indicate compromise rather than martyrdom as a model. Moreover, what happens in the relationship between the Holy See and China concerns each one of us.
The Daily Compass has received an explosive letter signed by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, that fiercely attacks Cardinal Joseph Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, who has been critical of the secret agreement between China and the Holy See that has resulted in the increased persecution of Catholics. The letter contains misleading statements, affirming that there is a continuity between the approach of this pontificate with that of previous pontificates, when in fact no such continuity exists. Furthermore, it makes very grave misrepresentations, attributing the authorship of the present secret agreement to Benedict XVI and declaring a change in doctrine regarding the possibility of independent Churches.
- THE LETTER