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Russ Patriarch Starts First visit to China; meets w/China's prez

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-patriarch-kirill-china-visit/24982199.html May 10, 2013 Russian Patriarch Starts First-Ever Visit To China Russia s
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10 10:07 AM
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      May 10, 2013
      Russian Patriarch Starts First-Ever Visit To China
      Russia's Patriarch Kirill has started the first-ever
      visit to China by a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

      On May 10, the
      first day of his six-day visit, the patriarch met with Chinese President Xi

      While in China, Kirill will meet with Orthodox believers at the
      Russian Embassy in Beijing and lead a religious service at the Church of the
      Intercession of the Holy Virgin in China's northeastern city of Harbin, a city
      founded by imperial Russia in 1898.

      Similar services will be held in a
      former Orthodox cathedral in Shanghai.

      The first Russian Orthodox
      missionaries arrived in China from Siberia in late 1600s.

      The Chinese
      Orthodox Church split from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1957 when political
      relations deteriorated between China and the Soviet Union.
      Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
      BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping met with Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and head of the Russian Orthodox Church, on Friday.
      Xi said Chinese and Russian people are closely connected by a deep traditional friendship, as well as a realistic need for cooperation.
      Recalling his state visit to Russia in March at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, Xi said the two presidents' agreement to enhance the cooperation will not only benefit the people of both countries, but also help to safeguard peace, fairness and justice in the world.
      Xi lauded the Russian Orthodox Church's consistent support for the development of China-Russia relations and for China's stance on issues involving its core interests, including national sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and development.
      Patriarch Kirill's China visit, as part of religious exchanges between China and Russia, will help deepen mutual understanding, Xi said.
      Briefing the guest on China's religious policies, Xi said he hopes the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill will play a bigger role in cementing relations between the two countries.
      Patriarch Kirill said both Russian and Chinese people cherish national independence and sovereignty, as well as value unity, diligence and justice.
      Russia and China should understand and support each other in countering challenges, he said.
      The Russian Orthodox Church will stick to the principles of equality and non-interference while interacting with the Chinese side and make permanent Russia-China friendship a part of Russian culture, he said.
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