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ARC Home > Projects > China projects :
International Taoism Forum

China - International Taoism Forum

ARC participated in, and supported, the first International Taoism Forum, held at Hengshan near Changsha in October 2011.

The forum attracted some 500 scholars from 21 countries and regions to Hengshan Mountain, a sacred Taoist site in Central China's Hunan province. The forum was of vital importance to China, and was supported by the Chinese government. It opened with a sound and light show starring some of China's top performers and choreographed by international composer, Tan Dun, who lives in New York, but was born in Chang Sha, the nearest city to Hengshan.

Spiritual Future

The forum centred around the relevance of Daoism to today's China - its contribution to a moral, ethical, ecological and spiritual future for a country with a powerful spiritual past, but where increasing numbers of policy-makers are worried – after years of communism and a one child policy that has led to a spoiled generation – for its spiritual future.

Martin Palmer gave a presentation, and also was interviewed on China's CCTV for a 40 minute programme broadcast nationally on CCTV4. Link here for a link to the programme

The Valley Foundation

ARC's partner and honorary trustee, Allerd Stikker of the Valley Foundation, gave a talk about the links between Daoism and Ecology. Mr Stikker has worked with us for many years sponsoring China projects through his EMF foundation, which was set up to promote the issues of water conservation and sharing. His projects with ARC have included founding the first Daoist Ecology Temple, at Taibaishan. Link here for his presentation, and photos from the event.

Media coverage

The event received impressive media coverage thoughout China. Link here for a summary of some of the many stories published.


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November 15, 2011:
ARC featured on China's CCTV and BBC's Radio 4
A major interview on Daoism and its relevance to China today with ARC's Martin Palmer was broadcast to tens of millions last night on China's state television network. It was broadcast in English and Chinese, with subtitles, and can be watched here. Meanwhile today's broadcast of Saving Species on BBC Radio 4 featured ARC's Assisi event, launching Green Pilgrimage.