[H]owever small the Catholic population is in China, a potential deal between the Vatican and China's government has been big news in recent weeks. After Communists took over China in 1949, Catholic missionaries were expelled. Eight years later, China's government established the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which rejects the authority of the Holy See and appoints its own bishops.

    Since becoming head of the Holy See in 2013, Pope Francis has shown an interest in China. He's said he wants to visit the country, he's sent a telegram to Chinese president Xi Jinping, and the two sides have reportedly met at least four times this year to try and settle differences that go back decades.

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