„My main objection to the agreement is that we don`t know what it is,“ said U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, the de facto leader of Pope Francis` criticism in the church, in a brief interview, before welcoming Pompeo to an event hosted by the U.S. Embassy at the Vatican last month. And he expressed hope that the Vatican would take tougher measures against China by extending the agreement. Indeed, in the 40 years since China began reforms under Deng, Sino-Vatican relations have been at large and have moved into a cycle that has sometimes turned out to be a 10-year cycle. Progress has been made and is rapidly deteriorating. It seems, therefore, that the 70-year impasse was broken with the signing of the provisional agreement. With regard to the results achieved so far on the basis of the legal framework established by the agreement, two bishops have been appointed (His Excellency Antonio Yao Shun, Diocese of Jining, Mongolian Autonomous Region, and His Excellency Stefano Xu Hongwei, Diocese of Hanzhong, Shaanxi Province), while several other processes are under way for new episcopal appointments, some in the initial phase. others at more advanced stages. While these results do not appear to be so statistically important, they are a good start, in the hope that other positive goals can be achieved gradually.
We must not lose sight of the fact that, in recent months, the whole world has been virtually paralyzed by the health crisis that has affected both life and activity in almost every area of public and private life. The same reality appears to have influenced regular contacts between the Holy See and the Chinese government, as well as the implementation of the Interim Agreement. Since 1951, there have been no official relations between China and the Holy See. However, in September 2018, China and the Holy See signed an agreement allowing the Pope to appoint bishops approved by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and veto them. The agreement was then extended for a further two years in October 2020.  The Vatican justified its extension by the fact that the agreement was purely ecclesial and pastoral, not political, although it stated that an ongoing dialogue would allow for discussion of other problems, including human rights violations. Finally, the direct ties between the Catholic Church and China could also benefit Pope Francis. Maybe the pope can visit China.
Indeed, this would be a great success, even if it would be open to many misunderstandings, because it would come to China at a time of increasing restrictions on religious expression. In September 2007, the appointment of Father Joseph Li Shan by the authorities of the People`s Republic of China was described as „tacitly approved“ by the Vatican.  In May 2008, the China Philharmonic Orchestra of mainland China gave a concert for the pope at the Vatican, leading analysts to talk of a „growing rapprochement“ between the two countries.  On 8 April 2011, the Financial Times reported that Baron von Pfetten organized the first major discussion at the level of supervision at a three-day closing seminar in his French castle, during which a high-ranking Chinese visit delegation met with Monsignor Balestrero, then the Holy See`s undersecretary of state for relations with states.  Since the inauguration of Pope Francis in March 2013, he has publicly expressed in an interview with the media his desire to visit China and improve relations between the Sino-Holy See.  It was also reported that China, during a papal visit to South Korea in August 2014, opened its airspace to the Pope`s plane, and as it crossed Chinese airspace, the pope sent a telegram in which he expressed his „best wishes“ to the Chinese people.  „The Holy See considers the initial implementation of the Agreement – which is of great ecclesial and pastoral value – to be positive through good communication and cooperation between the parties on the agreed issues,“ the Vatican said in a statement, adding that the Holy See „intends to conduct an open and constructive dialogue for the good of the life of the Catholic Church and for the good of the Chinese people.“ On September 22, 2018,