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Renewed China-Vatican deal on bishops sets stage for official ties

Hong Kong's Cardinal Zen expects opening of diplomatic relations within 2 years

HONG KONG -- The renewal of an agreement between China and the Vatican on the appointment of bishops has put the two governments on course to establish diplomatic relations within two years, according to the former leader of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong.

Taiwan has been watching the development of ties between the two governments warily as the Vatican is Taipei's last remaining European diplomatic ally and would lose the link if Beijing opens ties with the Holy See.

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