Now that the Nepali government has quashed China’s ambitious plans to revitalize and modernize Buddha’s birth place Lumbini, postmortem discussions are raging.
Did China really hatch this “love Lumbini, love Buddha” mega plan to sanitize it’s image and control the negative message on lack of freedom in the country?
Blog Dai thinks so. He presents compelling assessment of the mega plan’s failure, linking it to Nepali xenophobia.
Dai is right about the fear or loathing of “foreign intervention” in Nepal.
It is also interesting to see the absence of reaction from China on the project’s failure to launch.Did the usually astute observers in Beijing really believe that Kathmandu will agree to the mega plan when no official channels were involved? Yes the figures behind the plan seem to be private organizations and an UN agency, but without Beijing’s agreement they wouldn’t have dared to drag the “China” brand into a possibly muddy situation.
Obvious question, is China over confident about it’s influence over Kathmandu or is this an one time misstep?