Buddhism in Current China-India Diplomacy
Chinese and Indian public diplomacy strategies are both incorporating Buddhism into their soft power ventures, and as a result are drawing closer within their bilateral relationship. But as David Scott writes in the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, Buddhism also “operates as a tool of diplomacy in a competitive way, as China and India both seek influence among Buddhist countries elsewhere in Asia and among international Buddhist organizations.”
Scott goes on to compare the two countries’ use of Buddhism in faith diplomacy, finding Chinese utilization “straightforwardly tactical and to a degree disingenuous,” while India manages to incorporate more genuine spirituality, but also limits its appeal by relying on a Hindu reinterpretation of Buddhism. Scott recommends that China shift from a short-term tactical calculations and instead normalize Buddhism within its faith diplomacy strategy.
The full article is available here.
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