Wire Service: AP
On May 17, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "China said Tuesday it is sincere in its efforts to establish formal relations with the Vatican after a 50-year break, but Beijing insisted the Holy See consider Taiwan a part of China. Both China and the Vatican have expressed interest in recent weeks in forming diplomatic relations. China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the pope in 1951 and refuses to have any contact with governments that have official relations with Taiwan, which the mainland claims as part of its territory. The Vatican is the only European government that has official relations with Taiwan."