HONG KONG, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), on Thursday urged representatives attending the third World Buddhist Forum to make contributions to kinder human relations, greater social harmony and a more peaceful world.
"It is my hope that the participating masters will use the occasion to exchange experience in religious practices, find more cultural resources, expound the inner meanings of Buddhist teachings and explore solutions to the common problems facing mankind, so as to make a positive contribution to kinder human relations, greater social harmony and a more peaceful world," Jia said in a congratulatory letter to the opening ceremony of the two-day forum in Hong Kong.
Jia's message was read out at the conference by Zhu Weiqun, deputy head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
The World Buddhist Forum has grown to become an important platform to promote Buddhism and advance peace around the world. The theme of this forum -- common aspirations and actions towards a harmonious world -- will surely galvanize Buddhists in all countries to work hand in hand towards a world of durable peace and common prosperity, Jia said in the letter.
Buddhism, which occupies a key place in the development of human civilizations and cultures of many countries, has become an important part of Chinese tradition since its introduction into China and its integration with the Chinese culture, Jia said.
"Stressing equality of all living beings and respect for inclusiveness, Buddhism advocates honoring the country, cherishing the people, and showing boundless mercy and love without discrimination, which plays a crucial and positive role in purifying people's minds, benefiting communities and promoting welfare for the entire mankind."
More than 1,000 eminent monks, scholars and others from around 50 countries and regions attended Thursday's opening ceremony.
Co-founded by the four Chinese regions -- the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, the World Buddhism Forum is aimed at building an equal and open platform for high-level dialogues in the world of Buddhism. The first forum was held in eastern Zhejiang Province in 2006. The second forum opened in Jiangsu Province and closed in Taiwan in 2009.