In 2018 the Vatican, which does not have diplomatic relations with the PRC, signed a secret and controversial agreement with the Chinese government on the appointment of bishops. Under the deal, Beijing provides a short list of candidates, and the Pope makes the final decision and also has a veto on bishops recommended by the Chinese government. The contested deal which has been extended twice in 2020 and 2022 is unpopular amongst many in the Vatican as it entails sharing the right of appointment of bishops with the CCP.
On November 26, 2022, the Vatican accused the Chinese government of violating the agreement by installing a bishop from a diocese not recognized by the Holy See. It said the Vatican learned with “surprise and regret” that the bishop of another district had been installed as auxiliary, or assistant, bishop in Jiangxi.