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China to Host First Int'l Forum on Dao De Jing
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For the first time in 50 years, China will organize a state-level forum on Dao De Jing, a classic Taoist text.

Dao De Jing, also translated as Tao Te Ching or the Classic of the Way and Virtue, was written by Lao Zi about 2,500 years ago, around the time that Buddha was expounding the Dharma in India and Pythagoras was teaching in Greece.

One of the most influential Chinese books of all time, it has been translated into more than 30 foreign languages.

More than 300 delegates from 19 countries and regions will attend the six-day forum which will be held in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, and in Hong Kong from April 22, according to the Taoist Association of China, one of the sponsors of the forum.

"Dao De Jing is not only the central text of Taoism, but also a precious spiritual and cultural treasure of the Chinese nation," said Qi Xiaofei, vice president of the China Religious Culture Communication Association.

"The harmonious philosophy of Dao De Jing transcends history, religion and national boundaries. A classic text, it nevertheless resonates with the aspirations of the contemporary world," Qi said.

There are more than 5,000 Taoist temples on the Chinese mainland.

(Xinhua News Agency April 21, 2007)

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