The Politics of Protection: Beijing Makes UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Bids

According to Chinese State media, over 200 million people have visited the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall since it first opened in 1977. The lines out front — which grow even longer during holiday weeks and around important dates such as the anniversary of Mao’s death in late September and Mao’s birthday on December 26 — suggest that Mao remains a powerful draw even in the era of Xi Jinping.

Beijing authorities are now hoping to bestow a bit of international prestige on the Memorial Hall by making a bid for Mao’s tomb — and 14 other Beijing landmarks — to join the list of World Cultural Heritage sites by 2035.