This book explores the interaction between heritage authorization and tourism development in China, and shows how this interaction influences the social relations between external agents and local actors in two World Heritage sites: the Shaolin Scenic Area and Ancient City of Pingyao. Various theories including Anthony Giddens’ theories on modernity, time-space distanciation, disembedding, and reflexivity are applied and critiqued in the context of the case studies. It uncovers that the reconstruction of tradition at both case sites is the emergence of elements of a commercialized, theme-park environment. This situation problematizes the notion of authenticity, which is claimed in authorized concepts of heritage. Furthermore, it shows contemporary reconstruction of tradition and demonstrates current transformative processes, in which external agents with heritage authority have an advantage over local residents in tourism zones who are financially, spatially, and culturally disempowered.