Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
China turns to Buddhism to calm Tibet, Taiwan tensions
Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:14am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Lucy Hornby
WUXI, China (Reuters) - The Beijing-backed Panchen Lama addressed an international Buddhist audience in English on Saturday, as officially atheist China turned to Buddhism as a balm for internal unrest and international tensions.
Gargantuan, baroque recreations of Tibetan and South Asian prayer palaces, built in a vast park that holds an ancient Buddhist site, show the resources and the historic symbolism that the Chinese state can draw on to claim the Buddhist mantle.
The second World Buddhist Forum jointly hosted by Communist China and Taiwanese Buddhists in Wuxi attracted over 1,000 monks, nuns and adherents from around the world. Its theme of "harmonious world" echoed the "harmonious society" slogans of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
"I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our central government for their kindly concern in hosting this forum," the Panchen Lama said in clear English.
"This event fully demonstrates that today's China enjoys social harmony, stability and religious freedom, and also shows that China is a nation that safeguards and promotes world peace."
The use of English implies that the 19-year-old Panchen, who was selected and raised by Beijing, is being groomed as a foil to the exiled Dalai Lama, who used his celebrity to keep the Tibetan cause in the international eye.
On Friday, the Panchen issued a veiled warning against the Dalai Lama in a speech delivered in Chinese in Beijing.
Tibetan areas are under military lockdown, one year after widespread protests against Chinese rule. Fifty years ago this March, the Dalai Lama fled to India following a failed uprising, and China has declared Saturday a holiday to commemorate the end of serfdom in Tibet.
But there was a note of conciliation in the presence of Abbot Hsing Yun, one of Taiwan's most influential monks and an advocate for improved relations between the Dalai Lama and China.
"All the exiled Tibetans should support China; the Communist Party should welcome them back," Hsing Yun told reporters on Friday. He noted the "positive merits" of the monk Beijing demonizes as a separatist.
Cooperating on the forum could help strengthen ties between China and self-ruled Taiwan, which have been warming since the Nationalists, or Kuomintang party, regained the presidency last year. Over 1,000 delegates fly directly to Taiwan on Monday, a trip that would have been impossible a few years ago.
"I hope for increased exchanges, back and forth. The more exchanges there are, the more people can't distinguish between the two, and that will lead to unity," Hsing Yun said.
China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and has vowed to bring the island under mainland rule, by force if necessary.
The Communist Party tried to root out Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism during the first three decades of its rule, but now recognizes the potential of religion to maintain stability. Continued...
View article on single page
Guatemala finds Mexico drug smuggler training camp
also on reuters
Video: London echoes of 1933 in G20 summit
Move over pricey cellphones - fees, software buzz at CTIA
Send Questions: Ask the World Bank President
More International News
Japan deploys defense for North Korea rocket launch
Guatemala finds Mexico drug smuggler training camp
Pakistan's ISI still linked to militants, U.S. says
Malaysia readies for new PM promising reform
Fresh fighting in south Philippines kills 27 people
More International News...
China marks "emancipation" of Tibet with holiday
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
A Geek's Guide to the Earth Hour Challenge
Japan deploys defense for North Korea rocket launch | Video
Obama sets Qaeda defeat as top goal in Afghanistan | Video
ANALYSIS-Obama move faces obstacles in Pakistan
Robert Pattinson readies fans for "Twilight" sequel
U.N. body adopts resolution on religious defamation
Autos task force readies aid announcement
No more oil rigs for ousted "American Idol" Sarver
Japan deploys defence for North Korea rocket launch
Crash pilot who paused to pray is convicted
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
100-year flood drowns upper midwest
Eruption in Alaska
Japan prepares for NKorea missile
London echoes of 1933 in G20 summit
Obama unveils new Afghan strategy
Pizza vending machine
Russia to help U.S. on Afghan drugs
Dam breach caught on camera
Get mobile with USB stick finger
Brown backs more trade financing
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Your opinion matters
We want to hear from you Learn More
Take Reuters online survey
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.