Scholars have recently paid increasing attention to China’s “mega events” as a form of image management striving to influence future world order. In this article, the author examines China’s recent world fair, Expo 2010 Shanghai China, and argues that we need to move beyond the reading of mega events as simple representation and ideology and read it also as simulation and simulacra. Reading the Chinese world fair as a simulacrum of world order can provide different ways of relating “the West” to its “other country” China. The author examines this relation through asking what it means to be the fair: Where is the world fair? When is the world fair? Who is the world fair? Reading the world/fair as simulacrum disrupts the fair’s notions of inside and outside, now and then, subject and object to the point where these terms are no longer workable.
“The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Alternatives, 37 (2), 2012, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2012 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Alternatives page: http://alt.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/