Within the last several years in China, there has been voice suggesting that now is the right moment for China to promote her soft power overseas, through various forms of public diplomacy, while religion is also included. Its purpose is trying to soften, or to comfort, the anxiety of other Asian countries, which is caused by China's rapid extension of her political, economic and military power in the area. Under this concern, Theravāda Buddhism in Yunnan, from China's perspective of international strategy, can be useful tool to extend China's soft power of Buddhism to various Southeast Asia countries with Theravāda background. This article is going to argue that there are series of unaware difficulty behind, which may frustrate the optimistic plan. The difficulty includes the current reality of a weak Theravāda saṃgha along with its fragmented monastic education, strong political influence on religion, intensified competition among various Theravāda traditions through the monastic educational network under a georeligious environment, and China's problematic mechanism of knowledge production of Southeast Asia.