This chapter has two broad aims. The first is to identify the current debates in heritage studies that this study aims to contribute to, and arising out of this my second aim is to identify the key concepts that will be utilised in this study. Three core debates are identified as crucial for this study. The first of these is the ongoing criticism of the UNESCO World Heritage Programme as ‘Eurocentric’, and in particularly as ‘Western Eurocentric’, in its perspective. I will discuss the nature of the hegemonic ‘Eurocentric’ discourse which Laurajane Smith has labelled the ‘authorised heritage discourse’ (AHD). Thus, this chapter firstly explores the role of Western understandings of heritage in framing the World Heritage Programme. In discussing this debate China’s role in the World Heritage Programme is discussed, and the tensions between China and UNESCO’s World Heritage Programme and its advisory bodies are identified. The chapter goes on to explore the issues and events that triggered these tensions. Secondly, the chapter examines the debates concerned with defining and analysing the meaning of heritage, a particular source of international tension. Finally, the chapter explores the role of tourism in heritage debates, yet another area of significant international tension within World Heritage site management.