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Apostolic nuncio to Japan to attend Taiwan presidential inauguration

Taipei (UCAN): Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on May 5 that Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to Japan, would lead a delegation to attend the May 20 inauguration of president-elect, Tsai Ing-wen.

The Indian archbishop was the Vatican’s charge d’affaires to Taiwan from 1995 to 1999.

Anna Kao, director general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Department of European Affairs, told reporters that the Vatican has a long-standing practice of sending an envoy from a nearby country to attend Taiwan’s presidential inauguration,. 

In 2008, the Holy See sent Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, to the inauguration of outgoing president, Ma Ying-jeou, and Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, apostolic nuncio to South Korea, to his inauguration when he won his second term in 2012.

Of the 22 countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the Vatican is the only one in Europe.

Given the envoy is an archbishop instead of a cardinal, a Chinese researcher who asked not to be named ventured that “it is obvious that the Vatican does not want to make a high profile presence at the inauguration.”

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