2018 South China Sea Buddhism Shenzhen Roundtable opens in Shenzhen

KATHMANDU: The 2018 South China Sea Buddhism Shenzhen Roundtable was held amid much enthusiasm in Shenzhen, China on Thursday.

Organised around the theme of "welcome the contributions of all parties and build a common future", the Roundtable witnessed the participation of eminent monks, government officials and members of friendship associations from 12 countries and regions including Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mongolia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, the United States and Malaysia. The guests also delivered speeches on subjects such as the promotion of regional Buddhist cultural exchanges and the safeguarding of peace in the South China Sea.

In his congratulatory letter to the conference, Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli stated that Buddhism has long helped build a bridge of communication between Nepal and China since ancient times. Given the long-lasting and ongoing friendship between the two nations, their relations will only grow in significance in future years.

Vice Chairman of the Buddhist Association of China, abbot of Shenzhen Hongfa Temple and convener of the Roundtable, Venerable Master Yin Shun, delivered a keynote speech entitled Welcome the Contribution of All Parties and Build a Common Future. He also proposed a number of initiatives aimed at promoting Buddhist exchanges in the South China Sea.

Likewise, Vice Chairman of Nepal's Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), Venerable Metteyya Sakyaputta, said at the Roundtable that the sole purpose of the noble teachings of the Buddha is to alleviate the suffering of all sentient beings and create a better world for both mankind and nature.

The teachings of Buddha are particularly salient today as the world is faced with unprecedented challenges. LDT Vice Chairman also shared his belief that the gathering of leaders of Buddhist communities in the South China Sea region at the Roundtable would help to promote regional peace and stability under this opportunity.

After deliberations during the Roundtable and on the basis of past consensus, eminent monks from ten countries jointly signed the Memorandum of the 2018 South China Sea Buddhism Shenzhen Roundtable, and achieved six items of consensus, including the joint writing of meditation manuals, conducting of seminars on temple management and establishment of a mechanism concerning rotation of the host state for the Roundtable beginning from 2019.