Sierra Leonean President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah on Wednesday visited
the Shaolin Temple, one of the birthplaces of Chinese Kungfu, in
central China's Henan Province, enjoying a traditional Chinese
martial arts display and sharing a prayer for world peace.
President Kabbah warmly applauded the performers and shared a
photo op with an eight-year-old Kungfu practitioner after the
In a courtyard of the temple, a monk showed the awe-struck
president a 1,200-year-old stele that records an ancient story in
which 13 Shaolin Kungfu monks rescued Emperor Li Shimin of China's
Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D) during a war.
The president prayed silently as five monks chanted
After receiving several books on traditional Chinese
architecture in the Abbot's room, Kabbah wrote in the guest book:
"I will bring Shaolin's presents to the Sierra Leonean people, and
I hope my prayers here will bring more peace and happiness to my
country and the whole world".
President Kabbah arrived in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan
Province, on Nov. 7, after closing the Beijing Summit of the Forum
on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), for a short stay in central
China's Hunan Province.
Established about 1,500 years ago, Shaolin Temple is famed for
combining martial arts with Zen Buddhism. After Russian President
Vladimir Putin's visit this March and the abbot Shi Yongxin's
attendance at July's World Cup finale, more state leaders are
paying their homage at the temple as a window onto Chinese
(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2006)