On May 11, 2018, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Taiwan said that he will be inviting Pope Francis to visit the country for a special Church congress next year amidst the tensions in the region.
In a remark during a reception of the Taiwanese embassy in the Vatican, Archbishop John Hung said "No pope has ever landed in Taiwan."
Later, he said to Reuters that he liked to "dream the impossible" and that he would be extending an invitation to the pope next week when he and other bishops from Taiwan meet up with the Pope. He feels that the pope should visit the island because the people "have suffered."
However, the trip can be controversial as the island continuous to have a dispute with China. China claims the island as its wayward province despite the fact the island has its own government. Currently, the Vatican recognizes Taiwan and does not have diplomatic relations with Beijing, which insists that all the nations which have relations with the island should break their ties and connect with Beijing.
As an attempt to improve relations with Beijing, the Vatican had undergone through talks with the mainland on the naming of bishops in China. However, the talks have stalled recently.
Aside from Archbishop Hung, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has also invited the Pope to visit Taiwan.