This paper sets out to apply an analytic of government to the study of leisure development in contemporary China. In viewing leisure - and, in particular, leisure space – as a practice of government, I hope to demonstrate how the Chinese state's promotion of leisure consumption, tourism, and recreation, can be interpreted as a form of governmentality. That is, the paper argues that leisure is part of a governmental apparatus designed to shape the conduct of China's citizens in particular ways and toward particular normative goals of the state. The paper explores the transcultural production of leisure in China under these circumstances, and finds that the governmentality of leisure derives from both Chinese and non-Chinese experiences, histories, and discourses of leisure. The paper also argues, however, that no practice of government can actually determine subjectivity. Thus, promoting new forms of active citizenship through leisure is necessarily productive of effects and outcomes that are both unintended and unpredictable from the perspective of planners, designers, and other governmental agents. Based on extensive fieldwork over the past decade, the paper explores some of these actual effects and outcomes in the context of the development of leisure space in both urban and rural settings in Guizhou province.