Pope Francis is trying to thaw China and other communist Asian countries' frosty relationship with the Church. As the pontiff tours Asia, he made his strongest gesture to these nations to date. Pope Francis expressed his desire for the Church to have “fruitful dialogue” with countries that the “Holy See does not yet enjoy a full relationship.” This includes the communist nations of China, North Korea, and Vietnam. However, he also made it clear that “These Christians aren't coming as conquerors, they aren't trying to take away our identity." China cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, but the country may be warming up to Pope Francis. He is the first pope who was allowed to fly over China during his trip from Rome to Seoul. China's foreign ministry also said in a statement “We are willing to keep working hard with the Vatican to carry out constructive dialogue and push for the improvement of bilateral ties.