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Buddhist Revival under State Watch

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Author(s): André Laliberté

Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
ISSN 1868-1026

Volume: 40;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 107;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Social sciences | China | Taiwan | communist party | Buddhism | philanthrop | 200 | China | Taiwan | Contemporary

ABSTRACT
The Chinese Communist Party has shown tolerance, if not direct support, for the growth of Buddhism over the last few decades. Three explanations for this lenient attitude are explored in this article. The flourishing of Buddhism is encouraged by the state less for its propaganda value in foreign affairs than for its potential to lure tourists who will, in turn, represent a source of revenue for local governments. Buddhist institutions are also establishing their track record in the management of philanthropic activities in impoverished area where local governments lack the resources to offer specific social services. Finally, the development of such activities has contributed to enhance cooperation between China and Taiwan, whose governments have a vested interest in the improvement of relations across the Strait. The article concludes that the growth of Buddhism in China results from the initiatives of Buddhists themselves, and the government supports this growth because it serves local politics well.
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