As usual, I learned a lot reading a recent post and associated comments on Fr. Z's blog. He quotes from AsiaNews that describes the Beijing diocesan community selection of a successor to the communist puppet Archbishop of Beijing who died recently. I wasn't too surprised to read that Joseph (Giuseppe) Li Shan was not personally opposed by the Vatican.
However, the new appointment was without Papal approval. Pontifical mandates are discussed at some length in the comments to Fr. Z's post, especially by Alex who compares the situation in Beijing to other illicitly (not according to law) consecrated Bishops of the SSPX and of Eastern European countries while under communist rule.
Also, don't forget to read that the new Beijing Archbishop is now being praised by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state.