Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that the Pope refused to see U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing the need to remain neutral in the middle of the U.S. presidential election. However, another possibility is the background at this time. It is that the Vatican-China agreement is due for renewal. Since it was signed, the details of the agreement have never been released. The Vatican has remained quiet on Chinese human rights matters since then, like on the issues of Uighurs concentration camps in Xinjiang and even the Hong Kong situation. Secretary Mike Pompeo has recently urged the Vatican to maintain its moral authority when facing the Chinese communists. The Pope also refused to see the 88-year old retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, who arrived in Rome a couple weeks back and waited for four days without any success. This refusal has nothing to do with the U.S. presidential election. In the past two years, China gave the Vatican a say in the appointment of two Catholic Chinese bishops and the Pope also blessed eight bishops that Beijing had previously appointed without any input from the Vatican.
Source: DW Chinese, September 29, 2020