Lucy Hornby of Reuters writes about China’s move to co-host the Second World Buddhist Forum:
Communist China and Taiwan are for the first time jointly hosting a Buddhist forum at this lakeside city on Saturday, as Beijing turns to Buddhism as a balm for global economic turmoil and internal unrest.
“Harmonious world”, the theme of the second World Buddhist Forum that begins in Wuxi, echoes the “harmonious society” slogans of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Gargantuan re-creations of Tibetan and South Asian prayer halls, built in a vast park housing a 1,000-year-old pagoda, show the resources China’s formally atheist state is prepared to invest to reclaim its Buddhist mantle.
More background on the forum, from Xinhua:
The Second World Buddhist Forum will open on Saturday in Wuxi City of east China’s Jiangsu Province.
The forum, which is scheduled to be held from March 28 to April 1, is expected to bring together more than 1,200 participants from about 50 countries and regions.
[…]The participants will take part in 17 sub-forums and will discuss topics including charity, environmental protection, culture, music and education.