The 11th Panchen Lama has donated 1 million yuan (about 156,000 U.S. dollars) to people living in the border areas of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
The funds came from money gifted by people from all walks of life after the Panchen Lama on Tuesday attained the highest degree in the exoteric teachings of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, equivalent to a doctoral degree.
"Through the donation, I hope that more young representatives of Tibetan Buddhism will participate in social activities and contribute to national unity, ethnic unity, as well as stable and orderly social development," he said at a Friday ceremony.
The donation will be used to consolidate the fruits of poverty alleviation, facilitate rural vitalization, and strengthen national borders.
After more than 20 years of studying sutras, the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu earned the Kachen degree after completing a two-hour debate on Tuesday at the Tashilhunpo Monastery in the city of Xigaze.
Over recent years, the 11th Panchen Lama has ardently participated in public welfare activities.
He is a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.
He is also vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and president of the association's Tibet branch.