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Beijing uses Chinese Buddhist group to transform Tibetan Buddhism: report

Representative Image (Photo: ANI)

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), the world’s largest Tibet support group based in Washington, released its report on Wednesday that exposed the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strategy of using a Chinese Buddhist group to transform Tibetan Buddhism in China’s image.

The report titled ‘Buddhist Association of China Takes A Leading Role In China’s Attempts To Control and Forcibly Reshape Tibetan Buddhism’ mentioned that, since the takeover of Xi Jinping President of China, the Buddhist Association of China (BAC) has become a key tool in assimilating and transforming Tibetan Buddhism. Especially concerning the search for and recognition of reincarnating lamas. The BAC has a special Tibetan Buddhism Working Committee, which oversees the implementation of CCP directives in Tibetan monasteries.

The report documents a change in the charter of BAC to fit the CCP’s political agenda. According to the report, ” In 2020, it was amended to include “Sinification of Buddhism in China” as one of its objectives and to “support the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system, study and implement Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and adhere to the direction of the Sinification of Buddhism in China.”

According to the report, the BAC has adopted an extreme political tone, leaving no stone unturned in pushing forward the CCP’s agenda. The BAC is forced to form a party-oriented committee within the BAC, even when the decisions of the BAC are made by local religious leaders. It has been strengthening its institutional foundation in recent years, which includes five-year plans and shaping monastic training to meet political goals, the report says.

The report further elaborates that the CCP has introduced measures, regulations and initiatives to exercise control over the recognition of centuries-old traditions related to the future reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.