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New Year with Xi Jinping

BEIJING (SE): Standing before a mural of the Great Wall for his end of year address on December 31, the president of China, Xi Jinping, said his administration had resolutely defended its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights during the past year.

“If anyone makes this an issue of question, the Chinese people will never agree!” he said in a noticeably higher pitch than the rest of his 10-minute address.

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Open letter to Xi on human rights

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): More than 100 authors from around the world have signed a letter addressed to the president of China, Xi Jinping, asking him to stop repressing writers in the country and to address the human rights violations being perpetrated against them.

The letter was delivered on the World Day for Human Rights, December 10.

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Pope’s gift from China

ROME (SE): The gift from China that Pope Francis spoke of with journalists during his return flight to Rome from Baku in Azerbaijan on October 2 is a silk print drape inscribed with ideogrammes from the historical Christian Stele of Xi’an.

It depicts the long narrative inscribed on the famous stele, which is also referred to as the Nestorian Stele, which dates back to 781 during the Tang Dynasty, and documents the first 150 years of the presence of Nestorian Christians in the Middle Kingdom.

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Pope receives gift from Xi Jinping

HONG KONG (SE): “And the Chinese president sent me a gift. They are good relations,” Pope Francis told an inflight media conference on his way back to Rome from Georgia and Azerbaijan on October 2.

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Vatican walks a diplomatic tightrope

HONG KONG (SE): A talk given by the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, in the Italian town of Pordenone on August 27 was described by Francesco Sisci, from Renmin University in Beijing, as a hint to how much the Vatican is prepared to suffer in order to achieve peace and establish a more workable relationship with China.

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Tweaking Church teaching with Chinese characteristics

CHONGQING (UCAN): A conference was held in July this year involving the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China at which each seminary on the mainland was required to present a paper explaining how the recommendations of the Central Disciplinary Committee of the Communist Party, published subsequent to its inspection of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, are being implemented.

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A battle to usurp a memory

SHANGHAI (SE): Always a controversial figure, the late Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian trod a difficult and delicate path in Shanghai, initially as the rector of the newly-reopened Sheshan Seminary and then as an illicitly ordained bishop.

Embraced by some and ostracised by others, he once said, “I try to keep the Vatican happy and I try to keep the government happy, without really succeeding at either.”

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The downside of corruption purges

BEIJING (AsiaNews): They drown themselves in rivers; drink poison; jump from bridges or the upper floors of their offices.

A rising number of worried bureaucrats from the Chinese Communist Party are choosing to take their own lives rather than face a corruption investigation.

This has proved to be an unwanted by-product of the anti-corruption campaign launched by the current president, Xi Jinping.

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Cardinal Zen gives a tick to archbishop of Prague

HONG KONG (UCAN): The former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, gave a big tick to the archbishop of Prague, Dominik Cardinal Duka, for challenging the president of China, Xi Jinping, on religious freedom and human rights during his March 28 to 30 visit to the Czech Republic (Sunday Examiner, April 24).

In an open statement, Cardinal Duka said, “As a representative of the Roman Catholic Church, I cannot ignore the fate of the brothers and sisters” in the Church in China.

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Xi Jinping with a saffron tinge

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): While reports vary as to how the personality cult being promoted by the president of China, Xi Jinping, is going, two videos posted on YouTube portraying him with a saffron tinge suggest that he may not just be the saviour of the world, but the one who holds the key to heaven as well.

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