Official Beijing announced its readiness to develop relations with the new leader of the Vatican. However, his successor Benedict XVI officials from China have prepared a number of conditions. According to a Foreign Ministry Lay Hoon, the next pope should break off diplomatic relations with Taiwan. "In addition, the Vatican should not interfere in the internal affairs of China, under the pretext of religion," — quotes a diplomat ITAR-TASS.

Due to non-compliance in 2005, China has banned his delegation to participate in the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Beijing angered presence funeral Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian.

According to the census of 2009, Christians in China are about 15 million people.

Diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Vatican were severed in 1951. Then the Holy See did not recognize the communist government. In response, Mao Zedong ordered local Catholics to sever ties with Rome. Chinese authorities created under their control organization — the Catholic Patriotic Association of China. Without the consent of its members c Vatican appointed church bishops. In this case, according to Western observers, China live about eight million clandestine Catholics who recognize the authority of the Pope.

It is worth noting that the Vatican — the only country in Europe which has diplomatic relations with Taiwan.