China is hosting its first international religious conference since communist rule was established in 1949.
The World Buddhist Forum is being held in the eastern city of Hangzhou over five days.
China is officially an atheist state although there are said to be 100m Buddhists in the country.
Hundreds of monks and scholars from around the world are attending the conference.
China hopes the forum will help to ease international criticism of its strict control over religious activities.
The conference is debating the principles of Buddhism and its place in modern society.
The Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama has made an appearance, but many Buddhists reject his authority.