China presented a wooden statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, or the Dizang Buddha, to South Korea, on Wednesday.
The statue, 1.88 meters tall, was made of Chinese juniper from Taiwan. Religion bureau officials in the eastern Chinese province Anhui didn't disclose its worth.
A ceremony was held on Tuesday on Anhui's Mount Jiuhua, one of the country's four most renowned Buddhist mountains. About 120 Buddhists from South Korea were in attendance.
The statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is related to a prince of Silla (Korea) known as Kim Gyo Gak in his homeland. The prince traveled to China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) and settled at Mount Jiuhua to practice Dharma. He passed away at 99 there. Chinese Buddhists believed Kim was an incarnation of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.
"Kim Gyo Gak is the symbol of Sino-Korea ties," said Master Mingsheng, vice head of the Chinese Buddhist Association. "The year 2007 marks the 15th anniversary since China and South Korea established diplomatic relations, and this statue would further deepen our friendship."
"Everything in the world changes, except people's hearts," said Master Gaoshan from South Korea. "If we have peace in our hearts, the world shall be a harmonious place."
China and South Korea established diplomatic relations in August 1992.
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2007)