China is scheduled to hold an international forum on Taoism in Hong Kong and Xi'an from April 22 to 27 next year.
The forum, co-sponsored by the China Religious Culture Communication Association and the Taoist Association of China, is expected to attract more than 300 delegates from around the world.
Jiang Jianyong, vice president of the China Religious Culture Communication Association and the State Administration of Religious Affairs, said invitation letters had been sent to candidates from 19 countries and Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.
"The purpose of the forum is to carry forward China's splendid culture ... and Taoism has many positive thoughts that can help people solve conflicts," Jiang said. "It will embody a spirit of openness and tolerance."
He said the forum would also be helpful for the construction of a harmonious society in China and a harmonious world.
According to statistics from the country's religious authority, China now has more than 50,000 Taoist priests and more than 5,000 religious sites.
(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2006)