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TAIPEI: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has sent a special envoy to attend her funeral this week. Former Pope Benedicther office says this is a sign of a “deep friendship” between Taiwan and the Vatican, which has been courting China.

Benedict Resigns as pope for the first time in 600 years And a conservative bannerman who longed for a more traditional church died on Saturday (December 31). His funeral will be held on Thursday.

The Vatican is China’s claimed sole European diplomatic ally, and Taipei has watched with concern as Pope Francis moves to improve relations with China. The democratically governed island has formal ties with only 14 countries, mainly due to pressure from China.

Taiwan’s presidential office said in a statement late Saturday that Tsai had appointed former vice president Chen Chien-jen, a devout Catholic, as special envoy for the funeral “on the basis of our country’s deep friendship with the Vatican.”

During his tenure, Mr. Chen visited the Vatican three times in 2016, 2018 and 2019 to attend the canonization of Mother Teresa.

In September, visiting the Vatican for the beatification of former Pope John Paul I, and as Tsai’s special envoy, Chen met with Pope Francis and asked him to “pray for Taiwan.” Taiwan envoy to attend Pope’s funeral

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