Head of China’s state-backed Catholic church to visit Hong Kong

The leader of China’s Communist Party-sponsored version of the Catholic church will visit Hong Kong this month at the invitation of the city’s pope-appointed Roman Catholic cardinal, fostering dialogue as China-Vatican relations remain strained.

Joseph Li, the state-appointed archbishop of Beijing, will take a five-day trip to Hong Kong starting Nov 14 at the invitation of the city’s newly appointed cardinal Stephen Chow, according to a statement from the Hong Kong diocese.

Chow made the invitation during his landmark trip to Beijing in April — the first visit to the Chinese capital by the city’s bishop in nearly three decades — in a symbolic gesture that experts said could strengthen the fragile relationship between China and the Vatican.

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