1st Edition

Heritage Conservation and China's Belt and Road Initiative

Edited By Victor Chan, Yew-Foong Hui, Desmond Hui, Kazem Vafadari Copyright 2024
    206 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how China’s Belt and Road Initiative through promoting a non-Western-centred geopolitical narrative is affecting the conservation and management of Belt and Road heritage sites. Considering the dynamics between academics, heritage professionals, and government officials, the inscription process and management of Silk Roads heritage sites, and the practice of China’s Belt and Road heritage diplomacy, the book examines how changing heritage conservation practices are influenced by politics and professionalism and negotiated in different ways across different nation states in the Belt and Road zones. Highlighting the different aims and outlooks of Chinese diplomacy, UNESCO and other international heritage conservation organisations, nation states as guardians of national interests, and local communities as custodians of everyday lived heritage, it shows how the Belt and Road Initiative has energised multilateral efforts in heritage diplomacy and management. It also discusses how the ‘professional’ status of heritage professionals, including practitioners engaged by governments and international organisations and also scholars and researchers who provide consultancy advice, is often not politics-free, with heritage professionals often co-opted into speaking for stakeholders, especially national governments.




    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors




    Heritage conservation and China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Between politics and professionalism

    Victor C.M. CHAN, Yew-Foong HUI, Desmond HUI and Kazem VAFADARI


    Part I: The “new discourses” of silk roads



    Silk road expertise and the geopolitics of connectivity

    Tim WINTER



    The construction of the silk roads as World Heritage in China

    Jieyi XIE



    The silk roads: A mirror of contestation and a metaphor of ‘revival’ in regional shared heritage

    Sandra USKOKOVIC



    Part II: Negotiating the inscription and management of heritage sites



    Archaeological heritage management along the silk roads: Ancient and modern context




    Reviving the ancient maritime silk road: The politics of heritage instrumentalization in Asia’s port cities of Quanzhou and Melaka

    Yunci CAI



    Negotiating architectural restoration approaches: Differences between Chinese and Singaporean conservation specialists

    Kang Shua YEO



    The importance of Iran’s Yazd province for the Silk Road: Past, Present and Future

    Kazem VAFADARI and Nastaran EHSANI


    Part III: China’s Heritage diplomacy along Belt and Road initiative



    Chinese archaeology in Egypt: Between eurocentrism, de-westernisation and decolonalisation

    Christian LANGER




    Silk Roads heritage diplomacy: UNESCO & China’s Belt and Road Initiative

    Victor C.M. CHAN




    The maritime silk road: tourism, heritage, symbols and the people-to-people dimension of China’s ‘heritage diplomacy’ in Indonesia

    Angela TRITTO and Punto WIJAYANTO



    Heritage diplomacy along the maritime silk roads: the case of Muslim sites in Southern China

    Pascale BUGNON




    Victor C.M. Chan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science at the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


    Yew-Foong Hui is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, at Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong.


    Desmond Hui is a Professor and Founding Department Head of Art and Design at the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


    Kazem Vafadari is Professor of Tourism and Hospitality at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan.