Reminds me of the Taliban in Afghanistan just before the 9/11 attack destroying the gigantic Buddha figure carved into a cliff face.
To my limited experience from watching a Chinese news channel broadcast in English which I no longer receive, the Chinese government has a unusual relationship with Buddhism. On the one hand I think they revel a bit in the history of it as representing China, and thusly consider it a esteemable thing of value. ON the other hand, they(the government) evidenced by this channel, did not really get Buddhism. I assume much editorial guidance was present in determining what and how things were portrayed from governmental sources, and that this channel was really representing governmental view.
They seemed to adhere to the idea the Mahayanan form of Buddhism found in historical China was simply superior to the Theravadan form of Buddhism. I take much of China's government impetus on things, to be from a strictly nationalistic persepective. I assume they consider Theravada Buddhism representative of cultures they consider inferior to China such as Vietnam and others to which they hold historical enmity. A history of conflict going back thousands of years.
Of course Theravadan Buddhism(to my limited knowledge being not a historian) seems not unknown to China but part of their history as well. And who can say one form of Buddhism is superior to another. And when discussing Buddhism itself they seemed to equate it to forms of theism in a ideological sense, which of course is a superficial misread.
REminded me perhaps of Japanese Buddhist thought being misread by the Japenese government to constitute a cultural superiority of the Japanese over the Chinese in the thirties: used to justify war and misdeeds. The Japanese government at the time did not get Buddhism as well it seems.
So I am glad they are doing such things but it would be very much better if I thought such things were not being approached by the government as most probably just a extension of cultural superiority and nationalism.
I am quite certain their public statements on this(the government) will state it is due to the local people desireing this, which is probably true, but not a sole reason as I presume it to be.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.