China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),   t is an effort to develop an expanded, interdependent market for China, grow China’s economic and political power, and create the right conditions for China to build a high-technology economy The Asian superpower is planning a soft diplomatic approach that embracers Buddhist values to strengthen its BRI initiative. Researcher  Tabita Rosendal, based on a  Pacific review research paper, points out that ‘Sri Lanka’s strategic position in the Indian Ocean ensures its relevance to other regional and international powers, particularly those that make up the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad: Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.

Given this context, China will not want to ignore Sri Lanka’s strategic importance, and the Buddhist narratives shared among both countries may be used to create commonness between China and  Sri Lanka.  Tabita Rosendal argues that aside from economic clout, China has attempted to position itself as a trusted partner to its religious neighbors by utilizing “strategic narratives” rooted in “typical” Chinese religions like Buddhism.  Aside from economic clout, China has attempted to position itself as a trusted partner to its religious neighbors by utilizing “strategic narratives” rooted in “typical” Chinese religions like Buddhism.

 

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