Manila (AsiaNews) - Returning to the Vatican, Pope Francis sent, as usual, telegrams to the heads of state of the countries crossed by the papal plane. Once again - as was the case for his trip to South Korea, last August - the pontiff flew over China, thus sending another telegram to President Xi Jinping.
cordial greetings to Your Excellency - says the telegram signed by Francis - as
I fly over your nation on my return from
the Philippines to the Vatican. I assure you of my prayers for you and for all
the people of China, invoking upon you abundant blessings of harmony and
It is still unknown whether there was any response from Xi Jinping. During the last papal visit to Korea, it seems that the first telegram did not arrive while the second was "noted" by the Foreign Ministry spokesman.
At the time Chinese media gave discrete coverage to the Pope's presence in the Far East.
This time round however, Xinhua completely ignored yesterday's concluding Mass, which was attended by up to 6 million people, or the 30 thousand who took part in the meeting with young people in Manila, or the gathering in Tacloban with 150 thousand survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
Instead, Xinhua concentrated on publishing bad news stories relating to the Philippines, to coincide with the papal visit: "Over 2,000 families evacuated in C. Philippines due to storm..." (18.01.2015); "Seven hurt after plane overshoots in C. Philippines..." (17.01.2015). Only one article quotes the words of the Pope on corruption.
The "People's Daily" has also remained silent on the papal visit. The "Global Times", linked to the "People's Daily", instead published editorials and photos of the masses and meetings of the pontiff, but almost all taken from France Press.
Instead, Francis' visit to Sri Lanka had better coverage on Xinhua, with several articles about the Pope's gestures and messages.