To strengthen cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States, China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and Yale University of the United States jointly held a celebration event for the publication of the Culture and Civilization of China series in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 14, 2006. It was also announced at the event that the two parties would start new joint projects to promote the Chinese language overseas and in publishing language learning and teaching materials.
Vice Chairman Jiang Zhenghua of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Minister Cai Wu of the State Council Information Office, Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office and CIPG President Cai Mingzhao, Yale University President Richard C. Levin, Yale University Press Director John Donatich and CIPG CEO Zhou Mingwei were among the over 100 dignitaries present.
Cooperation between CIPG and Yale University started in the 1990s when the two began co-publishing the Culture and Civilization of China series. The project plans to publish 70 titles in different languages, in three broad strands -- illustrated studies, Chinese literary classics and Chinese philosophical works. To date, six books have been published, namely, Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting, Chinese Architecture, Key Concepts in Chinese Philosophy, Balanced Discourses, The Formation of Chinese Civilization: An Archaeological Perspective, and Chinese Sculpture. Three more illustrated studies -- Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Ceramics and Chinese Silk Art -- are to be published in 2007 and 2008.
The project has created a new mode of co-publishing, according to Cai Mingzhao, vice minister of the State Council Information Office and CIPG president. The academic value, mode of cooperation and achievements of the project have attracted attention among government and academic circles in China and the US.
While addressing the event, Cai said, "When China's President Hu Jintao visited the United States last April, he presented Yale University some Chinese books as a gift. This series was among them. That the fruit of our cooperation has played an important role in friendly exchange between our two countries is the best reward for our hard work over all these years.
"I am pleased to announce that CIPG and Yale University have recently reached consensus on new cooperation projects. Harnessing the strengths of each side, we will work together to compile and publish Chinese language teaching materials for American students and English language teaching materials for Chinese students. This new project will bear new fruits for our cooperation. I hope this mode of cooperation between CIPG and Yale University will attract more people to join us in promoting China-US cultural exchange and in constructing the bridge of friendship across the Pacific."
In his speech, Yale University President Richard C. Levin described President Hu Jintao's visit to Yale last April as affirming the long-standing ties between Yale and China. "President Hu's gift of 1,346 books symbolizes both the 156-year old tradition of academic exchange between China and Yale and also the launch of a new era of library and scholarly collaboration between China and Yale. I was delighted to learn that many of those books were published by CIPG and that CIPG was instrumental in the selection of all of the books for this historic gift," he said.
"Today, we are celebrating the fruitful collaboration Yale has enjoyed with the China International Publishing Group. The Culture and Civilization of China series has created an international community of scholars working both in China and abroad.," Levin added.
Director of Yale University Press John Donatich also delivered a speech at the event, saying, "I would like to personally thank all the writers, scholars, editors, publishers, production experts and the many others who managed the challenging process of bringing this book to light. The publication of this book gives the English-speaking world for the first time the chance to understand the base from which the younger generations of Chinese archeologists are working. Together, we publish this book in a momentous time: with the hope and expectation that understanding China's past will make great contributions to the global formulation of general principles in the social sciences.
"The Culture and Civilization of China publications remind us that even if it seems that history is indeed speeding up, we have a great deal to catch up with when looking backwards into the great past civilizations of the great Chinese culture."
Based on previous long and fruitful cooperation, a high level agreement was recently reached between the Yale University and CIPG that:
Targeting the language teaching markets in China and US, CIPG and Yale University will integrate their respective resources and strengths to compile and publish a branded language-book series. This will include: Chinese and English language teaching materials and aids designed specially for the US and Chinese market respectively and dictionaries. They will develop multi-media publications on language learning and teaching based on new technologies and the Internet; hold book fairs and annual seminars; and develop authoritative professional certification.
CIPG and Yale University both enjoy high international reputations for their achievements in the fields of publishing and education.
CIPG is the largest foreign-language publishing and distribution organization in China comprising nine book-publishing houses, five periodical publications, China's most authoritative multi-language news website www.china.org.cn, as well as the China International Book Trading Corporation that distributes to over 100 countries and regions. Every year, CIPG publishes over 2,000 titles, 24 printed periodicals and 25 on-line journals in 20 languages and provides continuously updated Internet information, thus forming a multi-media, multi-field publishing and distribution pattern. As one of the earliest universities in the world to establish its humanities and arts curricula, Yale University has first-class humanities departments and research projects with a wealth of experience in compiling and publishing reading materials in English and other languages. As international cooperation deepens and the world publishing industry develops ever more rapidly, the two institutions are making full use of their respective resources and actively pursuing forward-looking strategic cooperation.
This cooperation between CIPG and Yale University in promoting the Chinese language overseas and in jointly publishing language learning and teaching materials will play an integral part of China-US cultural exchanges in the publishing and education fields and will play an active role in promoting communication, understanding and trust between the two countries.
Speech by Cai Mingzhao, Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office and CIPG President
Speech by Richard C. Levin, President of Yale University
Speech by Hu Baomin, Director of Foreign Languangs Press
Speech by John Donatich, Director of Yale University Press
Speech by Xu Pingfang, Co-author of Formation of Chinese Civilization
(China.org.cn November 14, 2006)