The new great game

Chinese moves to usurp Buddha’s legacy in Asia through massive bankrolling worry New Delhi

Published: 23rd April 2017 10:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th April 2017 12:34 PM   |  A+A-

Buddhist community members offering prayer to Lord Buddha on the occasion of Buddha Purnima in Bhopal on Monday. (PTI)

NEW DELHI:  It is not Chinese military power that threatens India right now. It is dragon’s discreet move to usurp Buddha’s legacy in Asia through massive bankrolling that is worrying New Delhi.

A concerned National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval was briefed recently on Chinese new great game using Buddhist sects as a vehicle for bolstering the country’s soft power to counter India’s big brother image in the region.

The documents accessed by The Sunday Standard shows that China is planning to project Pakistan as a cradle of Buddhism culture and heritage by pumping huge amount of money to revive ‘Gadhara Trail’ linking Lahore, Taxila and Peshawar.

The documents indicate the ‘Gandhara Trail’ falls under Chinese sponsored Buddhist network. According to the presentation given to Doval, the Chinese are silently pushing enormous funds in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh under its game plan against India.

“The Chinese plan is to consolidate Buddhist sects—Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Japan—and all powers should be vested in World Buddhist Forum at Wuxi, a city near Shanghai. The ultimate objective of Chinese strategy is to replace Tibetan religious hierarchy,” the documents revealed.

The Chinese claimed the first coup last year when it replaced India as Partner to celebrate ‘Vesak’ (Buddha Jayanti) in Lumbini, Nepal. Now, under the Lumbini Development Project, the Chinese focus is to link Budhha’s birthplace with Qinghai-Lhasa rail network.

Chinese Centre in Guiping- China-ASEAN Buddhism Cultural Centre- is making huge investments in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Thailand. The plan is to encircle India through this new great game, which in the shadowy world could be far more dangerous as all these countries are part of ‘String of Pearls’ policy to confine India’s influence in the region.

To launch a counter offensive, India is mulling to raise a pilgrimage management committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with country representatives, eminent monks and scholars as members of the team.

The third suggestion to counter Chinese government is to start cultural diplomacy by selling the legacy of Buddha, Ashoka and Xuanzang through various mediums in Taiwan, Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, Laos and Cambodia.

The government is likely to revive South-East Asia’s ancient legacy by linking Ganga to Mekong River that runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

To beat the Chinese deception, India is also planning 10 international events beginning October 31 2017 at Sarnath in Prime Minister Modi’s political constituency. The government may also examine the feasibility of encircling China using the legacy of Chinese monk Xuanzang through a ‘Transnational Buddhist Corridor’ that would cover Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Taziksthan, Kyrgustan and Kazakstan.

For better integration, a new website would be launched in Sinhalese, Thai, Myanmar, Khmer, Chinese and Korean languages. The government panel in this great game to counter China is likely to rope in three central departments—Tourism, Forest and Archaeology- for access and development plan.

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