The status of Catholic gains in China are unclear. How people of different cultures perceive the god of Christianity is hard to understand for those of us not in the faith.
The Catholic Church, as everyone knows, claims its clergy are descendants of Peter in the Bible. The Pope appoints Bishops and such in his role as a present day Peter. That direct pipeline to Jesus is a propaganda line taught over and over to the faithful
In China, the Chinese government does not like a religion that has the potential to challenge it. The government wants to appoint Catholic clergy to maintain its chain of command. Clergy would know their boss is the leader of China, not the Pope. No clergy would speak out against political leadership in this case.
The Pope, of course, would find a government appointed Bishop to be impossible under its long standing rule of Papal sovereignty. One has to remember, of course, China represents perhaps the biggest market for religion in the world. Religions of every ilk would like to get a beachhead established there. The potential for wealth in immense.
So, what should the Pope do, maintain the rule of Papal sovereignty and refuse to allow the government to appoint clergy or be financially prudent and let the government do it thing so long as the church grows. The Pope chose the latter. He will allow the government to appoint some Bishops and he will appoint others.
It’s called “bidness”.