Chapter 3 adds political and social context by demonstrating the role of discourses and institutions within heritage-making processes, mainly focusing on the Reform and Opening period (post-1978). As discourses shape and are disseminated by institutions, we pay attention to the interaction between institutional and discursive developments. In this chapter, we show how institutions – both governmental institutions and societal organisations – contribute to the dissemination of the official Chinese heritage discourse, and how they, in turn, are shaped by it. Chinese heritage concepts, discourses, and institutions have developed in constant interaction with developments at the international scale, particularly with UNESCO. This interaction has resulted in the selective appropriation of heritage concepts and best practices, which has led to a diversification of what is considered “heritage” and how it is protected in China today.