Beijing, May 13, Interfax - Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he attaches great importance to the visit to China by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
"You are the first patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and Russia's supreme religious leader to visit our country. It vividly demonstrates the high level and the special quality of Chinese-Russian relations," Xi Jinping said at a meeting with the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Beijing.
Xi Jinping paid his first foreign visit to Russia after becoming president of China.
He described this visit as "quite successful" and said that he was sending his best wishes to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Chinese president said that, following the devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, he had received a telegram from Patriarch Kirill, who offered his sympathy and support.
"I am profoundly grateful to you for it," Xi Jinping said.
Patriarch Kirill, for his part, congratulated Xi Jinping on his election as president of China.
"Russia highly appreciates your decision to pay your first foreign visit to our country. It confirms the special relationship Russia and China have managed to build in the past few years," the Russian patriarch said.