Privatizing the Silk Road in Contemporary China

While Beijing deploys the Road and Belt Initiative as a geopolitical imaginary for international networks, such policies also heavily impact the ways in which local practices adapt to the R&B initiative. Among different efforts to privatize the Silk Road, the physical remains of heritage sites become a key space where local actors deploy a neoliberal logic to blend heritage management and business development. In Xi’an, where the Tang West Market Museum is located, this shows how the past and present reinforce one another.