|The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, one of the two most senior living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism, was elected vice president of the Buddhist Association of China Wednesday. (Xinhua File Photo)
BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, one of the two most senior living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism, was elected vice president of the Buddhist Association of China Wednesday.
The 11th Panchen Lama, 19, addressed the closing ceremony of the eighth national conference of the Buddhist Association of China, representing Tibetan Buddhism delegates, in both Tibetan and Chinese languages.
He said he would uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), adhere to socialism, safeguard national unification, strengthen ethnic unity and improve Buddhist exchanges, on the basis of adherence to the law and love for the nation and Buddhism.
He said he would actively participate in charity activities and "play a role in building a harmonious society."
He vowed to contribute to "the blueprint of the compatible development of Tibetan Buddhism and socialism."
"I will not let people down and will contribute to national unification, ethnic unity, promotion of Buddhist doctrine and world peace," he said.
Freedom of religious belief had been the CPC Central Committee's consistent religious policy, which must be firmly grasped, he said.
He suggested improving temple management, including "democratic management, institution building, cultural relics protection and economic management,"in accordance with the times and the socialist condition.
Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu was approved by the central government as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama in November 1995 after a lot-drawing ceremony among three candidates in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.
The conference elected Chuan Yin, who had headed the Beijing Buddhist Association, as president of the national association.
Also elected at the conference were the association's three honorary presidents, Pagbalha Geleg Namgyae, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Ben Huan, a 103-year-old Guangzhou-based renowned master, and Yi Cheng, former president of the national association.
The conference elected 25 vice presidents including the 11th Panchen Lama.
Qi Xiaofei, vice director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, said at the closing ceremony that Buddhism had been more and more accepted by the Chinese society.
Buddhist culture, as part of traditional Chinese culture, would "definitely play a unique and positive role in building a harmonious society," he said.
Nearly 600 delegates from China's religious circles attended the conference in Beijing from Monday to Wednesday.
The conference mapped out the association's development guideline over the next five years, deliberated a work report and amended its regulation.