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Buddhist communities to set up South China Sea Silk Road Fund
Author:Liu Xiaoli in Shenzhen and Ma Zhiping  Source:chinadaily.com.cn   

Leaders of Buddhist communities from 10 countries reach a consensus in Shenzhen to set up the South China Sea Silk Road Fund, Nov 26, 2017. [Photo by Liu Xiaoli/China Daily]

Leaders of Buddhist communities from 10 countries, including China, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Burma, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Canada and the United States, reached a consensus in Shenzhen on Sunday to support the establishment of the South China Sea Silk Road Fund.
The South China Sea Silk Road Fund, to be established in the near future, will help promote academic research on Buddhism in the region, according to the 2017 South China Sea Buddhism Shenzhen Roundtable held in Shenzhen on Sunday.

The fund will support translation of Buddhist texts, educational cooperation, Buddhist service exchanges and charitable endeavors across Buddhist communities in the South China Sea region, and encouraging people-to-people exchanges while consolidating international friendship, according to the roundtable memorandum.

The South China Sea Buddhism Shenzhen Roundtable, initiated by master monk Yin Shun last year, serves as a platform to exchange views and promote the sustainable development of Buddhism in the region.

The Buddhist community leaders also agreed to support development of the South China Sea Buddhist Culture Research Institute, which was established in Sanya, South China's Hainan province in March.

The institute was launched to conduct research on major theoretical and practical matters associated with the construction of the Maritime Silk Road, provide strategic insights and initiate international exchanges, among other endeavors, according to the memorandum.

The institute was also designed to serve as a platform to advocate cooperation in the region.

The South China Sea region is regarded as the core region of Buddhism, with three branches in the area. Buddhism is considered a strong bond that holds the region together.

"Buddhism can bring harmony to the region and overcome any conflicts and tensions," Phraprommasith, vice-sangharaja of Thailand Buddhism said at the roundtable.

Last year, the South China Sea Buddhism Shenzhen Roundtable issued a Shenzhen declaration from which solid progress has been made.

"The roundtable has created a favorable condition to jointly safeguard the harmony and peace of Buddhist countries in the South China Sea region," Wang Zuo'an, head of China's State Administration of Religious Affairs, said at the roundtable.

The roundtable will be held in Shenzhen on an annual basis and a secretariat to take charge of daily affairs will be established.

"We will work together to contribute to the safeguarding of the well-being of people in the South China Sea region, and dedicate our efforts to promoting closer ties among the Buddhist communities in all countries and enhancing mutual exchanges and cooperation in the region," said master Yin Shun.


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