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Reviving the Ancient Maritime Silk Road. The Politics of Heritage Instrumentalisation in Asia's Port Cities of Quanzhou and Melaka

Version 2 2024-01-11, 16:05
Version 1 2024-01-05, 14:38
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posted on 2024-01-11, 16:05 authored by Yunci Cai

Drawing on critical heritage studies as a theoretical approach, this chapter examines the politics of heritage instrumentalisation along China’s Belt and Road Initiative, based on a comparative study of Quanzhou in China, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) in 2021,and Melaka (Malacca) in Malaysia, a UNESCO WHS since 2008. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Quanzhou and Melaka from 2017 to 2020, the author demonstrates how heritage conservation in the neoliberal regime has led to significant commodification of sites of historical significance at these two port cities. By examining the political, economic, social and cultural dynamics surrounding the heritagisation of Quanzhou and Melaka, this chapter shows how heritage conservation in the two port cities has been negotiated differently by various stakeholders, including government officials, heritage professionals, business persons and local communities, to produce complex consequences for these port cities and their inhabitants.

History

Author affiliation

School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Heritage Conservation and China's Belt and Road Initiative

Pagination

76 - 91

Publisher

Routledge

isbn

9781003401919

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2025-03-27

Language

en

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