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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TAIPEI1841 2005-04-19 22:43:00 CONFIDENTIAL American Institute Taiwan, Taipei
Cable title:  

VATICAN ASKS TAIWAN NOT TO SEND SENIOR OFFICIALS

Tags:   PREL TW VT 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L TAIPEI 001841 

SIPDIS

STATE PASS AIT/W

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/01/2015
TAGS: PREL TW VT
SUBJECT: VATICAN ASKS TAIWAN NOT TO SEND SENIOR OFFICIALS
TO PAPAL INAUGURAL


Classified By: AIT Director Douglas Paal, Reason: 1.4 (B/D)



1. (C) National Security Council (NSC) Senior Advisor Lin
Jin-chang told AIT April 19 that the Vatican Foreign Ministry
has requested that Taiwan not send any ranking official to
ceremonies to inaugurate the next Pope. Lin said the
Vatican's list of "ranking officials" includes the President,
Vice President, Premier, Foreign Minister, Minister of
National Defense, and Speaker of the Legislative Yuan (LY).
Lin said that Taipei had not intended for President Chen
Shui-bian to attend the upcoming ceremonies, but has been
considering dispatching either the Foreign Minister or
Legislative Speaker.



2. (C) Lin said Taipei is puzzled over the apparent
downgrade, adding that Vatican officials did not provide a
clear explanation for the request. Given the formal
diplomatic relationship between Taiwan and the Holy See, Lin
said that it would be natural for Taipei to send a senior
level official to such ceremonies. Lin asserted that
President Chen carefully followed ground rules for his
attendance at ceremonies for John Paul II, including by
refusing requests for interviews from Italian and
international media outlets. Lin asked if the USG had any
insights into the Vatican request.



3. (C) Comment: The Vatican's request for a low-profile
Taiwan presence at upcoming inaugural ceremonies may be aimed
at giving the new Pope a clean slate to deal with the PRC
over the range of issues left unresolved by John Paul II,
including the Vatican's recognition of Taiwan. While Chen
may have kept a low profile on the ground in Rome, the Taiwan
media loudly hailed his attendance at the ceremonies as a
major diplomatic coup and reaffirmation of the strength of
Taiwan-Vatican ties. The PRC's strong public condemnation of
Chen's attendance at the memorial may have also convinced
Vatican diplomats that future negotiations with Beijing may
be greatly complicated by these sorts of high-profile visits.
PAAL