chapter  1
16 Pages

Contextualizing heritage discourse in current China

ByLuca Zan, Bing Yu

This chapter provides a preliminary discussion of some important issues about Chinese cultural heritage, and their impacts in shaping the discourse on heritage and its policies. It presents policy and management lenses rather than technical or humanistic views, and focuses on immovable and tangible heritage. Talking about heritage in a country as huge and old as China raises the issue of what can be realistically assumed to be known by an average reader, and what needs to be "introduced". The definition of the categories is interesting in qualitative terms; but it is also intriguing in substantive terms. China's huge dimensions also have another important connotation, namely the variety of climatic conditions, which have important implications for heritage conservation and research. The period of economic development means human activity presents dangerous risks for heritage sites. The category is human deterioration factors seen as a potential risk for the sites, signaling the pressure of anthropogenic elements in heritage protection in the country.