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Cultural Heritage Preservation in Modern China: Problems, Perspectives, and Potentials

The ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 2014;21(1):3-15 DOI 10.16995/ane.69


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Journal Title: The ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts

ISSN: 1943-9938 (Print); 1943-9946 (Online)

Publisher: Open Library of Humanities

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts | Language and Literature

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Lisa Bixenstine Safford (Hiram College)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Beijing, motivated by the 2008 Olympics, has impressively modernizedin the past decade, replacing crumbling infrastructure and architecture, missingstreet lights, grey dirt, and weeds with wide boulevards crowded with late modelcars, ultra-modern bridges, subways, and skyscrapers. Yet, experts say, everythingin China is a trade-off. My focus is on one form of trade-off, the degradation of historicChina. Traveling in China exactly ten years after my first visit gave me opportunitiesto meet with representatives from media, education, and government, andask: how well has China maintained its cultural heritage in the face of rapid modernization?And how important is it for citizens and government to do so? Today’sChina, where “everything new is better,” must be rendered “livable” for growingnumbers of citizens who are part of an ongoing mass internal migration involvingrelocation from rural areas to rapidly burgeoning cities, increasing pressures torepurpose spaces occupied by old structures. This paper presents current problemsrelating to historic preservation, and some perspectives for the future.