China's high-ranking officials have called for adopting the wisdom
of ancient Taoism to build a harmonious society.
Daodejing, or the Classic of the Way and
Virtue, was written by Lao Zi about 2,500 years ago, around
the time when Buddha was expounding the Dharma in India and
Pythagoras was teaching in Greece.
"It is not only a precious gem in the treasure house of Chinese
culture but a common spiritual wealth of the mankind," said China's
senior official Jia Qinglin at a congratulatory message to the International Forum on Daodejing,
which started Sunday in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
The principle of being modest and peaceful in the book would
provide an inspiring reference to China's ongoing construction of a
harmonious society, said Jia, chairwoman of the National Committee
of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
Daodejing has influenced the Chinese people generation
after generation, as well as people of different countries, races,
nationalities and languages, he added.
"Today, in the 21st century, the ancient concepts and views
of Daodejing still have important values," said Liu
Yandong, vice chairwoman of the CPPCC National Committee.
As one of the important classics of Chinese traditional culture,
Daodejing manifests a great profundity of thought
contained in pithy remarks.
The book, consisting of only 5,000 characters, is a reflection
of the lofty aspiration of the Chinese nation for amiability,
happiness and harmony, said Liu.
The forum, jointly sponsored by Chinese Taoism Association and
China Religious Culture Communication Association, will be held
from April 22 to 27 in Xi'an and Hong Kong.
Involving 300 delegates from 17 countries and regions, it has
been the first international forum of its kind that China has
organized for the last 50 years.
(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2007)