Pope recognises seven bishops ordained in China
VATICAN CITY • Pope Francis has recognised seven bishops who were ordained in China without the Vatican's approval.
The decision came as the Vatican announced a historic accord with Beijing on the appointment of bishops in China, in what could pave the way for the normalisation of ties between the Roman Catholic Church and the world's most populous country.
The Vatican, in a statement yesterday, said: "Pope Francis hopes that, with these decisions, a new process may begin that will allow the wounds of the past to be overcome, leading to the full communion of all Chinese Catholics."
Beijing summons US envoy over military sanctions
BEIJING • China summoned the US ambassador yesterday to lodge an official protest over sanctions imposed by the United States against a Chinese military agency for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles, state media said.
A day earlier, China called on the US to withdraw the sanctions or "bear the consequences".
China's Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned US Ambassador Terry Branstad after the US placed financial sanctions on China's Equipment Development Department and its top administrator, for its recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.
S'pore leaders send letters of condolence to Vietnam
President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan have written to their Vietnamese counterparts to offer condolences on behalf of the people of Singapore, following the death of President Tran Dai Quang last Friday after a serious illness.
Madam Halimah wrote to Acting President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, while Mr Lee wrote to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Dr Balakrishnan wrote to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
Separately, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean wrote to Mr Quang's widow Nguyen Thi Hien.