Controversial abbot is new Shaolin kungfu chief

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Beijing, June 27(ANI): Shi Yongxin, China's most controversial monk, has been named the principle inheritor of the Shaolin kungfu.

"The decision has been approved by China's State Council. With the honor, Yongxin is expected to shoulder greater responsibilities and take more initiatives to better preserve Shaolin martial arts," Xinhua quoted Chen Gaofeng, an official of the Shaolin Temple, as saying.

Earlier, Yongxin had caused a stir by accepting the gift of a luxury cassock on June 8. A private brocade company gave the cassock to Yongxin, which had traditional Buddhist patterns such as the lotus and sacred vases woven in gold thread.

Yongxin, however, maintained that the cassock was only a gift and he had never asked for it.

The Shaolin Temple has been criticized for recently installing lavish restrooms worth 430,000 dollars and the reception of an extravagant four-wheel-drive vehicle from the local government.

Yongxin expressed his delight at the title being given to a Shaolin monk rather than to someone from outside the temple. (ANI)

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