Chinese experts have slammed an Indian official’s remarks that China has been culturally controlled by India, saying the official is trying to boost the country’s national pride.
The remarks were made by India’s home minister Rajnath Singh at a nationwide tourism festival saying said that Chinese scholar Hu Shi (1891-1962) wrote that “India culturally had controlled and dominated China for more than 2,000 years without sending a single soldier. That is the effect of India.”
If China has been controlled culturally by any country, it is India and this fact was accepted by Hu Shi, Singh said.
By saying India’s influence on Chinese culture, Hu was referring to the spread of Buddhism during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) in
China, Zhang Yiwu, a professor of culture at Peking University, told the Global Times on Thursday.
It is true that Buddhism originated from India, but the religion thrived in China after it was localized to make it better adapt to the Chinese society, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
There are more than 1,700 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, 46,000 monks and nuns and up to 400 living Buddha in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, said Zhou Wei, chief of the Institute for Religious Studies at the China Tibetology Research Center.
Buddhism has little to do with contemporary India, whose mainstream religion is Hinduism, experts noted. “Singh is merely trying to boost national pride and there is no need to overreact to his speech,” Zhang noted.
“It is also inappropriate to use the phrase ‘culturally control and dominate’ as culture simply integrates with each other, and China, as a country with a great civilization, hasn’t and will not be ‘controlled or dominated’ by any culture,” Hu said.
He pointed out that Chinese civilization features various schools of thought, including Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism. (APP)