Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Committee Member

Dennis Pirages

Second Committee Member

Ted Jelen

Third Committee Member

David Damore

Fourth Committee Member

Ying Bao

Number of Pages



Currently, the sovereign state of Vatican City does not formally recognize the People's Republic of China. Nor does the Vatican recognize the Chinese Communist Party as the legitimate regime over China. Instead the Vatican recognizes the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan. There are 23 countries in the world who share the Vatican's legitimization of the Republic of Taiwan. The largest concentration of those countries is in heavily Catholic Central America. This thesis looks at the dynamics of the Sino-Vatican relationship in three areas: political tension management of the Chinese people by the CCP, improved relations between the countries of Central America and the People's Republic of China in the area of formal recognition, and how improved Sino-Vatican relations would aid the reunification of the Republic of China with the Mainland. This thesis finds that improved Sino-Vatican relations would improve the likely-hood of reunification, but there is a limited time frame for improved Sino-Vatican relations to be of benefit to the ruling regime of the Chinese Communist Party.


Catholic Church – Political activity; Central America; China; Diplomatic recognition; International relations; Latin America; Legitimacy of governments; Normative; Recognition (International law); Taiwan; Vatican; Vatican City


Asian Studies | International Relations | Political Science | Religion

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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