Among the various transformations experienced by China since the inception of the ‘Reform and Opening-up’ era, the relationship between spirituality and the official State-ideology professed in Beijing stands out as a generally neglected and overlooked topic. Marginalized during the Maoist period, by the early 1980s the religious sphere has started to regain an increasing room for manoeuvre in the country, thanks also to the unprecedented attractiveness displayed in recent years by the spiritual dimension in the eyes of Chinese leaders as an innovative source of domestic consensus and political influence. Up to now, such a sophisticated ‘charm offensive’ with spiritual nuances has already been translated into several kinds of initiatives, encompassing the sponsoring of international religious forums, the disbursement of aid programs to revive important monasteries across the region, as well as the dispatch of sacred relics on tours to other Buddhist nations. The impact of these efforts in nourishing mutual understanding, trust, and empathy is nowhere more visible than in the current evolution of the Chinese influence in Myanmar, where Beijing’s foreign policy is increasingly confronted with negative connotations of the country as an highly exploitative actor of local resources. Building upon this puzzling and fast-changing scenario, the following article investigates the theoretical and analytical roots behind China’s religious diplomacy and soft power conceptualization, in order to assess its concrete implementation and outcomes through the lens of contemporary Sino-Myanmar ties.

Karma e Soft Power: la "diplomazia del Buddha" cinese in Myanmar / Fiori, Antonio; Passeri, Andrea. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 57-74. [10.4458/9125]

Karma e Soft Power: la "diplomazia del Buddha" cinese in Myanmar

FIORI, ANTONIO;PASSERI, ANDREA
2017

Abstract

Among the various transformations experienced by China since the inception of the ‘Reform and Opening-up’ era, the relationship between spirituality and the official State-ideology professed in Beijing stands out as a generally neglected and overlooked topic. Marginalized during the Maoist period, by the early 1980s the religious sphere has started to regain an increasing room for manoeuvre in the country, thanks also to the unprecedented attractiveness displayed in recent years by the spiritual dimension in the eyes of Chinese leaders as an innovative source of domestic consensus and political influence. Up to now, such a sophisticated ‘charm offensive’ with spiritual nuances has already been translated into several kinds of initiatives, encompassing the sponsoring of international religious forums, the disbursement of aid programs to revive important monasteries across the region, as well as the dispatch of sacred relics on tours to other Buddhist nations. The impact of these efforts in nourishing mutual understanding, trust, and empathy is nowhere more visible than in the current evolution of the Chinese influence in Myanmar, where Beijing’s foreign policy is increasingly confronted with negative connotations of the country as an highly exploitative actor of local resources. Building upon this puzzling and fast-changing scenario, the following article investigates the theoretical and analytical roots behind China’s religious diplomacy and soft power conceptualization, in order to assess its concrete implementation and outcomes through the lens of contemporary Sino-Myanmar ties.
2017
L'era di Xi Jinping: bilanci e prospettive
57
74
Karma e Soft Power: la "diplomazia del Buddha" cinese in Myanmar / Fiori, Antonio; Passeri, Andrea. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 57-74. [10.4458/9125]
Fiori, Antonio; Passeri, Andrea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/609872
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