WUXI, Jiangsu, March 27 (Xinhua) -- China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin said he hoped Buddhists from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan would make further contributions to China's economic development, social harmony and peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, met Friday with more than 100 delegates to the second World Buddhism Forum, which will open Saturday in Wuxi, eastern Jiangsu province. It will conclude Wednesday in Taipei.
Jia praised contributions made by Chinese Buddhists to the following: the May 12 Wenchuan Earthquake relief work, maintaining stability and prosperity in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and promoting peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.
Jia also said he hoped the Buddhism circle would "cultivate a group of model Buddhists who have pure beliefs, abide by strict religious disciplines and uphold lofty morality rules."
He stressed that China would continue to carry out policies on religious freedom and support Chinese Buddhists to enhance exchanges with overseas counterparts by different means, such as the World Buddhism Forum.
"The Chinese government encourages and supports the Buddhism circle to actively carry out friendly academic and cultural exchanges with their counterparts, on the basis of independence, equality, friendliness and mutual respect," Jia said.
More than 1,300 eminent monks, scholars and others from nearly 50 countries will participate in the forum. Its theme is "A harmonious world, a synergy of conditions."
Co-founded by the four Chinese regions, 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.