Beijing (AsiaNews) - At least four illegitimate bishops - and some officially excommunicated - have been appointed or re-appointed members of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the two most important political structures of the People's Republic. Both summits, with thousands of participants are underway in the capital: the NPC began this morning, the CPPCC began on March 3.
The bishop of Shantou, Huang Bingzhang, illegitimately ordained and officially excommunicated by the Holy See in 2011, was appointed as a new member of the NPA.
Three other illegitimate bishops were chosen for the CPPCC: Ma Yinglin of Kunmin, president of the so-called "Chinese Bishops 'Conference" [not recognized by the Holy See]; Zhan Silu of Mindong, Vice-President of the Conference itself; Lei Shiyin of Leshan, vice-president of' Patriotic Association. Lei was also officially excommunicated by the Holy See in 2011.
In the "Religions" sector of the CPPCC six other Catholics were included: Msgr. Li Shan, Archbishop of Beijing; Shen Bin of Haimen, Jin Luxian of Shanghai, Fan Xinyao of Linyi, Meng Qinglu of Hohhot, and layman Liu Yuanlong.
Li Shan, Shen Bin and Meng Qinglu are CPPCC members for the first time. With the exception of Msgr. Jin Lu Xian (96 years old and very sick), the others have presided at or participated in the illegitimate ordination of Chengde (November 2010), Leshan (June 2011), Shantou (July 2011) and / or Harbin (July 2012)
The health of Msgr. Jin has also deteriorated after the strong reaction of the Chinese government to Msgr. Ma Taddeo Daqin, the auxiliary bishop arrested immediately after his ordination for daring to resign from the PA.
Jia Qinglin's presidency of the CPPCC has ended , a former member of the so-called "Shanghai clique", under the patronage of former President Jiang Zemin. In December 2010, he received all the participants to the Eighth Assembly of Catholic Representatives in Beijing [v. photo - a body that the Holy See considers "incompatible with Catholic doctrine" - ed], and urged them to "uphold the principle of independence and self-management of the Church", and to "resist the infiltration of foreign forces." He was succeeded Yu Zhengsheng, 67, a permanent member of the Politburo, Party Secretary in Shanghai. According to some Catholics, Yu is involved in the arrest of Msgr. Ma Daqin.
The NPC and CPPCC are held each year in Beijing and are held almost parallel, and will conclude on March 17. The most important issue for this year will be the confirmation of the transition to the new leadership of Xi Jinping (Secretary and President) and Li Keqiang (premier), in addition to reports on the state of the country, by the outgoing Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, and those on the various political, military and judiciary structures.