China will continue to support in-depth and friendly communications between Chinese and overseas Taoist communities to make contributions to promoting enduring world peace and shared prosperity, the nation's top political adviser said.
Taoism is deeply rooted in China and upholds the values of peace and inclusiveness, said Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
He made the remarks in a letter congratulating the opening of the 5th International Daoism Forum held on Maoshan Mountain, East China's Jiangsu province, and the founding of the World Federation of Daoism on Sunday.
The forum and the new federation will serve as key platforms for people to further discover the beliefs of Taoism, also spelled as Daoism, which can offer solutions and provide guidance on global issues that trouble people today, benefiting international communities, Wang said.
He added that the Chinese government will continue to support international exchanges between Taoist communities on the Chinese mainland and in other regions, as well as those abroad, to further contribute to promoting world peace.
The federation's establishment was initiated by the Taoist Association of China in response to appeals from Taoists in various countries. It is an international nonprofit social organization voluntarily formed by passionate believers from all over the world. It currently comprises 52 founding members from 20 countries and regions.
The establishment of the federation is a milestone in internationalizing Taoism and making it more popular, said Leung Tak-wah, chairman of the Hong Kong Taoist Association, on Monday.
The two-day forum will promote the wisdom of Taoism in areas such as healthy living, moral education, cultural dissemination and international exchanges. It has attracted more than 500 delegates, including Taoist practitioners, experts and scholars from 39 countries and regions, the organizing committee said in a statement on Sunday.
This year's forum, themed "Revering the Dao and Upholding Virtue, Moving Forward with the World", aims to encourage people to discuss how Taoism can promote traditional Chinese culture and embody the core teachings of Taoism, while keeping up with the development of modern society, the organizers said.
Aleksei Khokhlov, head of the Daoist Association of Russia, said on Monday that the Taoist ideals of caring for the body and promoting harmony are extremely important for the people in Russia.
"Inspiring examples of the Chinese Taoists are of the greatest value for us. And the Russian Taoists will try to match Taoism in Russia and the world," Khokhlov said.
Deng Fei, deputy director of the Jiangsu Religious Affairs Administration, said the forum has included speeches, artistic performances and thematic exhibitions, as well as television and new media forums, to better interpret and promote Taoism in international communities.
This will be achieved by highlighting the contemporary significance of the Taoist culture, which embodies a fusion of Eastern and Western values, and bridges both ancient and modern perspectives, Deng said.