Cleric, Cadre, Businessman: China’s Development Strategy in Sri Lanka


What does Buddhism have to do with harbors? Find out how China is leveraging religion in its foreign policy and why it is a vital part of China's soft power strategy, aligned closely with domestic policies. Learn how Sri Lanka's reception and reproduction of narratives can impact the country's foreign relations and domestic dynamics.

Tabita Rosendal Ebbesen, Doctoral student at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University unravels Chinese Development policy, governance practices and the use of Buddhism in diplomatic and public diplomacy efforts in Sri Lanka in conversation with Frode Hübbe. Mentioned in the article is Tabita’s great article China’s Buddhist Strategic Narratives in Sri Lanka – Benefits and Buddhism? Which is accessible open source.

Tabita's research focuses on contemporary Chinese governance practices of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Aiming to fill knowledge gaps on port projects, Tabita has conducted fieldwork in Sri Lanka, interviewing key stakeholders. Read more here.

Frode is a student assistant as the Nordic Institute of Asia Studies and a China Studies Student at the University of Copenhagen with a particular interest in China’s regionalizing efforts.