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Coronavirus: How the Vatican helps China fight the epidemic

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Even the smallest state state in the world can assist the Chinese giant. Faced with the epidemic of coronavirus, which has already claimed 425 victims in the Middle Kingdom, and one in the Philippines, the Vatican has also decided to make its contribution to the building.

To do this, the city-state, located in the heart of Rome, sent to the second world economic power between 600,000 and 700,000 masks, according to the daily La Croix.

An initiative which was born on January 27, and whose objective is to testify to the “preoccupation of the Holy See” vis-à-vis the epidemic, according to a source close to the government of Beijing quoted by the Global Times.

The operation was coordinated by Chinese-born father Vincenzo Han Duo, vice-rector of the Pontifical Urban University of Rome, supported by the Pope’s chaplain, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski.

A diplomatic issue

These hundreds of thousands of respiratory masks are wrapped in plastic bearing the arms of the pontifical coat of arms, and sent thanks to the support of airlines which have offered the shipping costs.

Finally, all of the masks were collected and stored by the Vatican pharmacy. They were then divided between the province of Hubei, home of the epidemic, and those of Zhejiang and Fujian, located on the east coast of China.

Behind this papal enterprise, however, lies a diplomatic issue: if the Holy See and Beijing have no longer maintained diplomatic relations since 1951, Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his intention to renew relations between the two states.

A will symbolized by the signing of a historic agreement, September 22, 2018, which allows the pope to appoint bishops in China once they have been approved by the Chinese Communist Party.

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