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Xi Jinping declined Pope Francis’ request for a meeting

Last week, both Pope Francis and Xi Jinping were in Kazakhstan on official visits. While they were there, Pope Francis expressed his readiness to meeting with Xi Jinping.


The Pope was in the Kazakh capital of Nur Sultan for an interreligious conference. Xi was also in Nur Sultan, and he met with the Kazakh president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the day after the Pope did.

In response to a “gesture of availability” from the Vatican, Chinese officials said that, while the gesture was appreciated, Xi did not have time in his schedule to meet with the pontiff.

Despite Pope Francis’ repeatedly stated desire to visit China and meet with Xi, there has still never been a meeting between a pope and a president of China.


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