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Fierce debate ensue over Putuo Mountain IPO

07-30-2012 09:31 BJT

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Putuo Mountain, in an island in east China's Zhejiang province, is one of the four holy Buddhist mountains in China. Sacred temples and exquisite landscapes cover the island of nearly 13 square kilometers. Last year, it attracted more than 5 million tourists. Recently, the holy site has been rocked by a announcement it’s going public. CCTV reporter Xia Ruixue went there to hear the differing opinions.

A shrine for all Buddhists. This is Putuo Mountain, one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism. But the quiet was broken after the Putuo Mountain Tourism Development Co. Limited announced it was getting ready to go public. The company is a subsidiary owned by the local officials. A fierce debate has ensued over whether religious venues should turn into high-profile commercial entities.

Mao Jiantao, Manager of Putuo Mountain Tourism Development Co. Ltd., said, “Yes. The company is probably going to be listed at the end of 2014. But we only integrate the tourism resources of the island, such as transportation, catering and accommodations, as well as incense making, not the Buddhist associations and all the temples. The entrance fee won’t be included either.”

Putuo Mountain, in an island in east China's Zhejiang province, is one of the four holy Buddhist mountains in China.

The company claims that listing tourism resources surrounding religious sites will better protect local culture and tourism. But Buddhists and tourists have different points of view.

Tourist said, "I myself don’t think it’s a good idea for Putuo Mountain to be listed. It’s a pure land for Buddhists. It should be kept apart from the modern world."

"I’m completely supportive. Going public means more money will be raised and invested to bolster the island and attract more people to come." Tourist said.

Putuo Mountain, in an island in east China's Zhejiang province, is one of the four holy Buddhist mountains in China.

Putuo Mountain officials didn’t respond to our request for comments. They said the manager could explain everything. He says the funds will go to the local government.

“We use the name ‘Putuo Mountain’, because it’s famous so that we can raise more investment funds. But Putuo Mountain is not just the name of temples and monasteries, but the whole site. People misunderstood.” Said Mao.

Abbots of the local temples refused to be interviewed, citing a religious ceremony. Monks seemed to have no idea.

Monk on Putuo Mountain said, “No. We don’t know anything about it. And it’s none of our business. ”

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CCTV.com

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