November 2nd, 2015

The fourth World Buddhist Forum held successfully

APECF helps Chinese Buddhism go global

(From 24, the fourth World Buddhist Forum was held in the Fangong Palace, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, senior monks,scholars and representatives from 52 countries and regions joined the forum. On the opening ceremony, Standing committee of Central Political Bureau (Politburo) and CPPCC Chairman Yu Zhengsheng sent a congratulatory message to forum and warm greetings to the participants from home and abroad.

Head of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, member of the Politburo Sun Chunlan, Director of the State Bureau of Religious Affairs, President of the China Religious Culture Communication Association Wang Zuoan and leaders of relevant government departments also participated in the Forum, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President of Nepal Ram Baran Yadav, Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and other foreign dignitaries from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka all sent their congratulations.

The World Buddhist Forum, co-sponsored by the Buddhist community from Mainland, Taiwan Hong Kong and Macao, aims to build a long-term high-level platform to promote exchange, cooperation and dialogue for Buddhists around the world and provide a bigger stage for Chinese Buddhist community. It is also to help promote religious exchanges across the Taiwan strait. The first World Buddhist Forum was held in Zhejiang in 2006, the second forum was held in Wuxi and Taipei in 2009, the third forum was held successfully in Hong Kong in 2012, all of which have generated worldwide influence.

Executive Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific Communication and Cooperation Foundation(APECF), Mr. Xiao Wunan was invited as a special guest to participate in each of the forum. He has made significant contribution to the success of the forum and met with the Party and state leaders at the forum.

During the forum, Mr. Xiao met with religious dignitaries from around the world and reached consensus in many aspects, especially in internationalization of Chinese Buddhism.

As we all know, in recent years, China has strived to build its global soft power of which Chinese traditional culture has become an important manifestation. To accomplish this mission, Chinese Buddhism has an important role to play. In 2010, with the support of the United Nations, the Government of Nepal and the international community as a whole, APECF has succeeded in the implementation of the "Blue Beanie Buddha revival plan", which is a big milestone project indicating Chinese Buddhism’s first venture abroad. In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the role of Chinese Buddhism in forming its national culture when making an important speech to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Since May 2015, with the support of dozens of international agencies and governments, the APECF has pushed a campaign to promote dialogue between Buddhism and other religions and strived to achieve world peace through dialogue among different civilizations. The campaign has taken place all over the world such as Los Angeles, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Paris, London, Milan with hundreds of politicians, scholars, cultural figures and representatives from different sectors involved. It has also attracted great attention from the United Nations, the General Assembly Vice-President Arthur Cafiero held a special meeting in New York to know about the campaign, and immediately decided to incorporate this campaign into Millennium Development Goals.

On Jun. 1, 2015, Mr. Xiao Wunan was invited to attend "the Twelfth Day of Vesak" in Bangkok and delivered a keynote speech, which said: " Buddhism should not only be regarded as religious power, but should be used as a cultural force in safeguarding world peace and addressing various crises.” Such comments strike a chord with all participants and has become a new consensus of the fourth World Buddhist Forum. With Chinese culture embracing the outside world, Chinese Buddhism is gaining more and more understanding of the international community. As a new force to promote world peace, Buddhism will increasingly be recognized and accepted by people all over the globe.

Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, Mr. Xiao Wunan meets with Representative of Taiwan Tzu Chi, He Risheng