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On 14 May 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), met with Mr. Wang Zuoan, secretary of the PRC State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA).

Discussed at the meeting, which took place at the SARA reception hall in Beijing, were current situation and prospects of cooperation between Russia and China in religious sphere. The particular importance of the meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China held in the Moscow Kremlin on 8 May 2015 was noted.

Metropolitan Hilarion and Wang Zuoan signed an agreed protocol of the 3rd meeting of the Russian-Chinese working group for contacts and cooperation in religious sphere. The meeting took place in Moscow in June 2014.

Among those taking part in the meeting in Beijing from the Russian side were Ambassador A. Denisov of the Russian Federation to the People’s Republic of China; Mr. S. Melnikov. Executive secretary of the Russian Federation’s Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Organizations; Mr. Ye. Tomikhin, minister-counsellor of the Russian Embassy in China; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; Rushan-hazrat Abbyasov, vice-chairman of the Council of Muftis in Russia, Gelong Sanjey-lama of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha in Moscow, Mr. Dmitry Petrovsky of the DECR, and deacon Alexander Karzan, secretary of the DECR chairman.