China to work with the Vatican

Updated: 2014-08-15 15:44

By Zhao Shengnan and Hou Liqiang(

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China hopes to conduct constructive dialogue with the Vatican and promote the improvement of bilateral relations, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said after Pope Francis sent a message to President Xi Jinping while flying over China.

"We have noticed the remarks of Pope Francis. China has always been sincere in improving relations with the Vatican and has been making positive efforts for that,” the ministry’s Hua Chunying said.

Pope Francis arrived in the South Korean capital Seoul on Thursday.

 "Upon entering Chinese air space, I extend best wishes to your Excellency and your fellow citizens and I invoke the divine blessing of peace and well-being upon the nation," he said in a radio message to Xi as he flew over the country, according to Reuters.

The news agency said it was the first time a pope had been allowed to fly over China on Asian tours.