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China releases list of ancient books for protection
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The State Council has released a list of precious ancient books for national protection, the first of its kind.

The list includes 2,392 books, of which 2,282 are written in Chinese while the other 110 are in languages of minority ethnic groups. Those books were composed or printed before 1912, and have historic and cultural value, according to the judging panel.

"It is the first time in China's history that such a list has been released, and is also the most important part of the culture preservation work," said Zhou Heping, vice-minister of culture and chief director of the panel. "The list is aimed at introducing Chinese traditional culture to the outside world, arousing public awareness of cultural relics protection."

Books on the list include a number of valuable ancient works of different eras and from various regions. The panel also attach great importance to ethnic minorities' works. Ancient books, written in minorities' languages including Tibetan, Mongolian and others, have great significance in cultural research. Zhou said.

" They are the best demonstration of the brilliant cultural varieties in China," he said.

The precious books include the Annotations for the Thirteen Major Confucian Works, which was kept in the Library of the Academy of Military Sciences. It provides abundant references and research materials to scholars in Confucian studies.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2008)

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