Buddhism has played great contributions to cultural exchanges, commercial trades, and diplomacy friendship between China and foreign states along the silk roads. Before Richthofen Ferdinand von (1833-1905), a German geographer coined a term “Seidenstraße” or Silk Route in 1877, the path starting from Chang An 長安 and passing through Dunhuan and the West Regions via Hexi Corridor was also called a Buddhist Way, by which Buddhism came to China and in return Chinese Buddhism was also brought back to India as well as other Asian countries. Meanwhile in the south, Buddhists also pioneered the Maritime Silk Route and brought Buddhist texts, statues, paintings and other cultural items from Southeast Asia nations to China. Today, institutional Buddhism having undergone revival since the 1980s in China has actively recreated its ancient traditions and deeply engaged in cultural exchange and friendly communication with foreign counterparts in responding to the stratagem of One Road One Belt undertaken by the Chinese government.
This forum is aimed at (1) re-examining Buddhist contributions to cultural exchanges, commercial trades, and diplomacy friendship between China and foreign nations through the Silk Roads throughout long history, (2) reviewing how Buddhist temples and organizations in contemporary China have made their efforts to serve the One Road One Belt by recreating Buddhist tradition of cultural exchanges, and (3) based on the Buddhist practices both in the past and at present, providing comprehensive discussion on Buddhism and national service.