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Eye On "One Belt, One Road": Buddhism Masters

  • Source : China Tibet Online Author : Time : 04/06/2015 Editor : Tenzin Choedron

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    What is the role of religion in "One Belt, One Road"? How can Buddhism religious circle participate in the strategy, and what can be accomplished? These questions became the subject of a heated debate for religious members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) recently, reported by Ifeng.com.

      

    Ven. Master Xuecheng, a member of the CPPCC and the vice president of the Buddhist Association of China

      

    The Silk Road is also known as the "Buddhism Road". During the Han and Tang Dynasties, Buddhism prospered in the regions all along the Silk Road. The historical development of the Silk Road witnessed this phenomenon. One thousand years later, not only has Buddhism continued to flourish along the Silk Road, but Christianity, Islam, and other religions have also spread.

      

    In addition, not only did the Silk Road facilitate foreign trade and the exchange of religious beliefs, it also integrated ethnic cultures. People from different countries came on the basis of trade, setting aside religious and cultural differences and eliminating prejudice, in order to develop economies and promote religious harmony. Religious harmony and civilized communication will in turn create a favorable atmosphere for the development of the New Silk Road, which will provide an important safeguard for the stability and development of the region.

      

    Recalling this period in history, we can see different cultures all had the opportunity to shine by coexisting and prospering together. In today's globalized world, Buddhism can still be as it was before, laying a solid foundation for economic relations and ethnic unity.Master Juexing, CPPCC member and the vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China

      

    For the Buddhist community, "One Belt, One Road" sounds more intimate. Familiar stories like "Fa Xian Travels West" and "Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage" entrust the development and usage of Buddhism to the unique influence of the Silk Road. Today, Buddhism still holds an important position in the development of the Maritime Silk Road, possessing an indispensible significance for interaction with South and Southeast Asian countries.

      

    Master Zhanru, another member of the CPPCC and vice president of the Buddhist Association of China

      

    "One Belt, One Road" is a great initiative, with a significant and far-reaching strategic vision that has already attracted the attention of the international community. In addition, Buddhism can play a very positive role in carrying out the course of "One Belt, One Road". Historically, the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road were the most important ways for China to engage with the world. Whether it was the Persian civilization, ancient Greek civilization, Indian or Chinese civilizations, the Silk Road helped them all to enhance each other. It can be said that the Silk Road was not only a road of economy, but also a road of culture.

      

    In the carrying out the course of "One Belt, One Road", Buddhism can play a very important role in facilitating dialogue between different religions, integration of different cultures, interaction between ethnic communities, and communication between different regions. Such was Buddhism’s function in history, and thus will it continue to play this role now and in the future.

      

    Backgrounder

      

    On March 26, 2015, the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia opened. More than 1,700 guests from around the world launched an in-depth discussion on the topic "Asia's New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny".

      

    Yang Jiechi, a member of the State Council, delivered a speech on the afternoon of the 28th on the subject of "The 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road", during a discussion on "One Belt, One Road". "One Belt, One Road" is the abbreviated name for Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

      

    In September and October of 2013, President Xi Jinping laid out the strategic vision for the establishment of a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

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