The dynamic music exchange in the mass-mediated spaces of urban China and the transpacific sphere in the last two decades has challenged habits of thinking about modernity, globalization, and westernization. World music, a mass mediated, cross-cultural evolving music category, has testified to both old-fashioned cultural appropriation and more equitable cultural relations between various cultural forces and social groups. In this presentation, I will look at some of the modes of engagement in musical interaction within and across cultures at the turn of the century. Specifically, I will look into three music groups/projects, namely, Dadawa, Hanggai, and the Silk Road Project in their respective historical and cultural contexts to examine how ethnic musical heritage is used to negotiate cultural prestige in the postmodern order (Hanggai), how musical otherness is created for consumption of difference in global music commerce (Dadawa), and how accelerated transnational movements of people, ideas, and information energize and cross-fertilize music making (the Silk Road Project). I argue that music, often used as a metaphor of global social and cultural processes, not only reflects changes in such processes, but also itself is part of today's globalization that contextualizes certain styles and practices in specific institutional sites and histories.