I still remember the bright smiles of the representatives from the North.
It's really a pity to hear that North Korea cut all the communication lines with South Korea recently. As we know, our government did hard work to build the bridge between the North and the South.
How can we recover our mutual relationship? How can we be totally independent of the influences of other countries? There is no way to be free from others, for each country is closely connected and interrelated to one another.
From the bottom of our hearts, we like to build bridges among people around the world and also across the country. Especially, it is a thrill to see and walk on a bridge high above, between one peak and another on a mountain.
Building a long bridge over the sea as a symbol of the relationship and connection could be a challenging adventure. In spite of destroying the balance of nature, it was quite an amazing project to realize the 55-kilometer Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) at the Pearl River Delta in 2018.
We are so closely surrounded by North Korea, China, Japan, the United States and others that we can't avoid the side effects of every country. Not only commercial trade and the economy but also the climate affects us seriously, sometimes in tragic ways.
The "China project" is one of the impending missions to be fulfilled in mainland China where 74 percent of the population is non-religious or just follows folk religions based on the ideas of Confucianism and Taoism.
It is said that in China, Buddhism is followed by about 16 percent of the population, Christianity (both Catholicism and Protestantism) by 3 percent and Islam about 1 percent.
The Chinese Catholic Church is independent of the universal Catholic Church in Rome. Thus, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church rejects the authority of the Holy See and appoints its own bishops by itself. It also has various religious congregations dedicating for the welfare of Chinese society.
Christianity has existed in China since the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century. It was reintroduced in the 16th century by Jesuit missionaries and grew up to the early 20th century. However, after the takeover by the Communist Party of China in 1949, foreign missionaries were expelled and churches were controlled under the leadership of Mao Zedong who regarded religion as a product of Western imperialism.
In 1957, the Chinese government established the Chinese patriotic Catholic association. But during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, they tried to destroy religion and spirituality.
Many years ago, some foreign missionaries made efforts to settle in China, but our "Pauline" apostolate couldn't survive in China because of our publishing activity. Nevertheless, the Catholic Churches in Macau and Hong Kong still operate freely. And here in Macau and Hong Kong, our "Pauline" apostolate is present to spread the Word of God.
In general, Koreans and Chinese people share some common traits together, such as diligence, hard-work, endurance, perseverance, respect for the elderly, filial piety, caring for long-term relationships, politeness, self-control and self-discipline, among others. I believe that these positive merits can build a bridge among us, leading to some common ground with empathy and solidarity in spite of ideological differences.
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