The first missionaries of the“Seminary of the Foreign Mission of Milan” arrived in Henan Apostolic Vicariate in Central China in March 1870. Later, as the missionary work developed, the vast Henan Vicariate was divided into several Vicariates entrusted to newly arrive missionary congregations. In April 1946, when the Catholic Hierarchy was established in China, PIME had the responsibility of the Archdiocese of Kaifeng (開封), the dioceses of Nanyang (南陽) and Weihui (衛輝 now Anyang 安陽).
The South Shaanxi Apostolic Vicariate in Shaanxi province was established in 1887 and entrusted to the “Roman Seminary the Foreign Missions of the Apostles Peter and Paul”. In 1928, after the “Roman Seminary” merged with the “Milan Seminary” to form PIME, the Vicariate of Hanzhong (漢中) remained under PIME responsibility.
More than a hundred PIME missionaries were working in these dioceses when the People’s Republic of China was founded in October 1949; they continued the apostolate until their expulsion in the early 1950s (the last one in 1954).