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Senior Chinese official vows closer ties with overseas religious circles

BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- China's most senior political advisor, Jia Qinglin, Wednesday said the government would strengthen exchanges and cooperation with overseas religious circles to promote world peace.

"Sticking to the principle of independence and self-governance, we support the country's religious circles to promote exchanges abroad on the premise of equity and friendship," said Jia in a meeting with leaders of the Asian Conference of Religions and Peace (ACRP), who are here to attend the 2010 ACRP executive meeting.

China's religious circles have conducted friendly exchanges with the ACRP, founded in Singapore in 1976, and the Asian religious circles in recent years, contributing significantly to understanding between the peoples of Asian countries and to the region's peace, development and cooperation, said Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

China's religious circles have always enthusiastically taken part in charity work, and the government highly appreciates their efforts to promote economic and social development, said Jia.

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