Why did Xi Jinping meet with the Panchen Lama just now?

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The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu (L) presents a hada to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, capital of China, June 10, 2015. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping accepted an audience with Panchen Lama Erdini Qoigyijabu at Zhongnanhai on June 10.

This is not the first time the two have met. On April 13, 2006, the first World Buddhism Forum opened in Hangzhou, at which time Xi Jinping, who was then Party Secretary of CPC Zhejiang Committeee, met the Panchen Lama. Xi Jinping said that the Panchen Lama’s participation in the first World Buddhism Forum would help promote friendly relations between religious circle in China and other countries. He welcomed the Panchen Lama to inspect in Zhejiang Province, and continue to develop relations between the ethnic Han and Tibetan nationalities and the Buddhist community.

As a matter of fact, Xi Jinping also enjoys a relationship with the 10th Panchen Lama. On July 22, 2011, as a member of the CPC Central Committee Politburo Standing Committee, Vice President Xi Jinping led a delegation from the central government to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery and greet religious figures there.

He presented a Khada at the 10th Panchen Lama’s memorial stupa. In the hall of the memorial stupa, Xi Jinping presented a silk scroll with the inscriptions of then General Secretary Hu Jintao: “Congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet” and a Tibetan language edition of Chinese Great Tibetan Scripture Book (Tibetan language) as gifts to Tashilhunpo Monastery, as well as distributing alms to the monks.

It can be said that Xi Jinping’s receiving the Panchen Lama at this time is very appropriate.

This shows that the Party Central Committee has consistently given a high level of attention to Tibet. This year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the Party Central Committee will send a delegation of representatives to Tibet to celebrate the event. It is believed that the Snow Land will once again attract the attention of the world.

This indicates the great important that the Party Central Committee has attached to the religious work. Not long ago, Xi Jinping attended the Central United Front Work Conference and delivered an important speech. He has set an example for the rest of the Party members by taking the lead in uniting the religious figures.

This also shows that Xi Jinping also congratulated the Panchen Lama on the progress he has acquired during his 20-year enthronement. Thus, after the Panchen Lama was recognized in 1995, three successive Party general secretaries of Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping have all individually held an audience with the Panchen Lama.