The Beijing International Book Fair, the world's fourth biggest book fair, held two book debuts on Thursday. The fair presented: A Reader on China by the eminent Chinese writer Su Shuyang and Under the Same World by Zhao Qizheng, a former minister of the State Council Information Office.
The 150,000-word book: A Reader on China is divided into 12 chapters and encompasses Chinese ancient cultures, arts and traditions. The book has been translated into several different languages including English, German, Mongolian and Korean.
The two Chinese publishers, the Liaoning Education Press and the Ethnic Publishing House, hope that these two works will lead readers to embrace and preserve China's diverse cultures.
"Reading materials are rare among many of China's ethnic groups. We hope that this book will add vividness to the lives of Chinese minorities and bring our readers new knowledge about our country," said Zeng Xiaowu, director from market development department of the Ethnic Publishing House.
"We will also market the book to China's neighboring countries, such as South Korea and Kazakhstan."
According to Zeng, the book is not published for profit.
"People from ethnic groups have weak purchasing power; we published the book primarily to benefit the public."
Yet the book has already caught the eye of some foreign publishers. Bertelsmann Book Club plans to promote its German and Russian versions in next two months after the recent market success of the English language version.
"This book is fantastic; Mr. Su Shuyang is presenting China to the world," commented Bryan D. Ellis, the general manager of the club.
The book comprehensively explains China's multi-cultural facets, ranging from history to art.
"China is usually stereotyped as a homogenous culture dominated by the Han people. In fact, China consists of several sets of mixed cultures, with various ethnic groups all mixed together with the Han people," the author explained.
At the same time, the Liaoning Education Press issued the book Under the Same World, in a bid to encourage the Chinese people to explore foreign cultures and customs.
The book's topics include: "You Are Facing Overseas Visitors", "Don't Let the Sound of Spitting Reverberate in the City" and "Patience means Reverence". All the chapters contain anecdotal stories for easier comprehension.
"This book tries to introduce foreign cultures and manners. Zhao wrote about his own experiences; his stories make it lively reading," said Wu Jianmin, the president of the China Foreign Affairs University.
The fair runs until next month at the China International Exhibition Center.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Wu Jin, August 30, 2007)