As a deputy at the recently ended Two Sessions, Ma Limin was busy pushing for his home city - by pulling for its noodles.
Lanzhou, a city of over 3.25 million, was once a garrison post along China's ancient Silk Road. However in recent centuries, the city is probably better known among Chinese for its beef noodles.
Originating in the 1800s, th dish traditionally includes hand-pulled noodles in a broth of stewed apricots, beef and a variety of seasonings.
Ma, who is also chairman of the Lanzhou Beef Noodles Association, thinks it's high time the dish was listed as national heritage.
"Beef noodles have profound history and are eligible to be listed as national heritage," said Ma, "and the local government is coordinating to facilitate the application."
Listing with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage could mean access to funding and increased tourism, among other benefits.
Currently there are around 1,500 beef noodle shops operating in Lanzhou. In Beijing, the figure is around 2,000.
"In the past, locals would eat noodles at places that didn't even have decent chairs," Ma said. "But now we are seeing more high-end shops."
Ultimately, Ma hopes to secure beef noodle-making a place in the national vocational education system.
"We need chefs that can inform customers about its history and varieties," Ma said.