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China's top Buddhist leader Zhao Puchu dies at 92.

BEIJING, May 22 Kyodo

Zhao Puchu, vice chairman of the ninth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and one of China's top religious leaders, died in Beijing on Sunday. He was 92.

Local media said Zhao died of an unspecified illness at 5 p.m.

He was the head of China's Buddhist community, having served as president of the Buddhist Association of China since 1980.

Zhao was also well known in Japan. Since 1958, he served as vice president of the China-Japan Friendship Association and worked as an adviser to the association since 1989.

In 1992, he led a Chinese religious delegation to Japan and met then Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. He also received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Secret Treasure from Japan.

A native of Anhui Province, Zhao began serving as secretary of the Buddhist Association of China in 1930s.

Like many prominent figures in China, Zhao came under criticism in 1966 during the Cultural Revolution, but he was rehabilitated in 1972.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:May 29, 2000
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