Remarks Made by Dr. YANG Jianli at Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Hosted by US Department of State
July 25, 2018
Thank you, Mr. Ambassador Brownback, for hosting this important meeting.
The recent moves on the part of the Holy See, in an effort to reach an agreement with the Chinese government on the selection of bishops and even to establish formal diplomatic ties with China, are truly worrisome.
Chinese Christians and, indeed, the entire Chinese human rights community can testify that these moves have strengthened the hand of the Chinese government in controlling about 100 million Christians there, and if the process goes further, it will even further strengthen this control. Given the size of the Chinese Christian population, and given China’s influence in every corner of the world, this should be a concern for every one of us. As I came to this meeting, I received phone calls and emails from our Christian brothers and sisters back in China asking me to bring this issue to your attention. I now urge you all come to join us in expressing our concerns to the Holy See, ad I urge the US government to help us get our message across.
At the same time, we would like the US government to urge the Holy See to consult the American government and civil society, and other democracies, regarding any further moves it may contemplate regarding China. I think most of you agree with me that it would be a dangerous setback for the free world and particularly for religious freedom if the Holy See severed diplomatic ties with democratic Taiwan and established relations with communist totalitarian China. Let’s make a concerted effort to prevent such a setback from taking place.