China open to closer relationship with Vatican, Beijing says after Pope Francis’ words of peace

China is keen to develop its relationship with the Vatican and appreciates the goodwill shown by Pope Francis, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.On a flight from Tokyo to Rome on Tuesday, the pontiff said that he “loves China” and “would like to go to Beijing”.Beijing responded on Thursday, with foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying it was keen to have a good relationship with the Vatican.“We appreciate the goodwill and friendship expressed by the Pope,” he said. “We have maintained…

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