The Appearance of the Rural in China's Tourism

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Journal Article
Provincial China, 2011, 1, 3 (1), pp. 60 - 79
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State-led programs for rural development through tourism serve to reaffirm and reinstate rural spaces as the ideal periphery, a desirable and attractive decorative edge. to the modern, contemporary Chinese nation. By tracing the ways in which tourism development both centralizes the necessity of modernizing rural regions for the nation as a whole while simultaneously emphasizing the otherness. of rural communities in order to promote them as tourist attractions, in this essay I seek to understand how the rural. appears in Chinese tourism as a vital concern of the state by characterizing what is rural as increasingly different and distant in order to satisfy perceived tourist desires. In particular, the Chinese state represents village-based tourism projects through discourses of distance that render the rural. both absolutely critical to national processes of development and fundamentally peripheral to modern conditions.
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