Chinese firm’s plan to build Buddha statue in Mahayana tradition in Laos angered Theravada Buddhists

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The project of a Chinese company to build a 100-meter Buddha statue in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition on the bank of the Mekong in Vientiane, Laos has aroused the ire of local citizens, as most of them follow the tradition. of Thervada Buddhism. Although they come from the same root, the Mahayana and Thervada Buddhist traditions have several minor differences.

Shanghai-based company Wang Feng Shanghai Real Estate Co. is planning to establish the supposed status near Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Vientiane, the Hong Kong Post reported. The idea of ​​building a status of Buddha from the Mahayana tradition, against the Theravada tradition accepted in Laos has obviously aroused anger among the population. China has used its economic and financial might to manipulate politics in Laos for some time, but the recent religious move against accepted local tradition has inflamed anti-Chinese sentiments in the country, the Hong Kong Post reported.

According to a recent social media investigation, the Shanghai-based company was condemned against the plan to build Buddha status as a tourist attraction in Vientiane. Speaking to social media, Laos claimed that if China goes ahead with status building, it will be the largest in Vientiane. China’s efforts to become the leader of Asian Buddhism by exporting its version with local sentiments to Laos, locals are furious and argue that said construction will take precedence over Laotian Buddhism. In Laos, the statues tend to be of Buddha sitting cross-legged, unlike the one predicted by the Chinese developer is in a standing position, the Hong Kong Post reported.

In addition, the Buddha statue will be built near Pha That Luang, the gold-plated Buddhist stupa in the heart of Vientiane. Apparently, only these statutes can be consecrated in temples that follow the Laotian style or the Lan Xang style. A similar social media scandal occurred in November 2020, when another Chinese company hung Chinese red lanterns on utility poles it had built in Vientiane. The China-based company has shot down the red lanterns after protests. Apparently, Chinese companies, in an attempt to force control, have trespassed on rural land to set up banana plantations, drawing further criticism on social media.

China is funding a wave of infrastructure construction, hydroelectric projects and the first high-speed train in Laos. The China-Laos rail link is financially draining Laos, leading to debt. According to reports, Laos’ economy of US $ 20 billion has an external debt of US $ 12.6 billion, of which China is about US $ 5.9 billion, reported The Hong Kong Post. (ANI)

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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