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China Vies for Primacy Over the World’s Buddhists

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Breaking News. Image: GoodManPL (Pixabay).

The Buddhist holy sites of Bodh Gaya in India and Lumbini in Nepal – two of the religion’s most sacred pilgrimage locales, are becoming the dual epicenters of a Great Game between India and China.

Bodh Gaya is considered the undisputed heartland of the Buddhist world. However, Bodh Gaya’s eminence is being challenged by the Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Exchange and Co-operation Foundation, which is backing Lumbini as Prince Siddhartha Gautama’s birthplace. The foundation’s executive vice chairman, the Beijing-born Xiao Wunan, has described developing Lumbini into a Mecca as part of scheduled Chinese US$3 billion investment in Nepal.

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