Kathmandu, Oct 10 : The much anticipated two-day state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal is expected to further propagate the Buddhist philosophy and cultural that has been interlinking Nepal and China since ancient times. Around 400 million people of its total 1.4 billion are of Buddhists faith in China while Nepal, with around 300 million population, has around 3 million its population following Buddhism, according to the census of 2011. Chinese President Xi is arriving Nepal on October 12 at the invitation of President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Akhil Nepal Bikshu Mahasangh’s central member Bhikshu Tapassi Dhamma reminisced the support of Chinese government for the development of the birth place of Lord Buddha-Lumbini and expressed his confident that the visit of Chinese President taking place in Nepal after 23 years would aid in promotion of Buddhist heritages in Nepal.
He viewed that if the talks between the Chinese President and our leadership could also touch on the preservation and promotion of ancient Buddhist heritages like Kapilvastu and Dev Daha, it would impact positively at the international level too. Furthermore, it would also lay a foundation for both countries to further emotionally link the two countries and its people through the religion, cultural and literature, according to him.
President Xi as well as Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, are scheduled to witness the signing of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding during the former’s two-day state visit. Similarly, Nepal Buddhists’ Association Chairperson Bhim Suwal argued that since the China’s Buddhists population has been regarding Lumbini as a pilgrim and visiting this Buddhist shrine time to time, the visit of Chinese President would further promote Buddhist philosophies.
Although Nepal and China formalized their relations on 1 August 1955 by establishing diplomatic relations, the two countries were linked through Buddhism since the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims Fa Xian (Fa Hsien) and Xuan Zang (Hsuan Tsang) visited Nepal and conducted researches in 5th and 7th centuries respectively.
It is believed that Nepal’s Buddhist scholar Buddhabhadra’s China visit during the 4th century had also helped foster Buddhist philosophy and literature in China. According to Buddhist scholar Tika Sherpa, Buddhabhadra spent 25 years in China in promoting Buddhist literature and helped Chinese locals to get involved with Buddhist philosophy and practice.
Stating that there was an age-old culture of Buddhism followers of Nepal and China embracing Buddhist philosophy and literature of both the countries and exchanging visits to religious sites, Sherpa said, “The upcoming Nepal visit by the Head of the State of China would be important and meaningful to attract as many as Chinese tourists to Nepal which would also support Nepal’s Visit Nepal 2020 campaign.” The Swait Chaitya constructed in Beijing during the thirteen century by Araniko reflecting the Nepal’s architectural marvels has also helped in further establishing people’s to people relations between the two countries. An 80-member delegation led by Araniko had also constructed many others monasteries, gumba, chaitya, Buddha statues in China which had managed to win over the then emperor of China Kublai Khan. Araniko’s works had also played a significant role in further bolstering bilateral relations between the two countries. (RSS)