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China's cultural encyclopedia to cover 20,000 ancient works
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China is publishing a cultural encyclopedia that experts believe will be an unprecedented summary of the country's historic works since the founding of the New China.

The series, Zhong Hua Da Dian (The Great Encyclopedia of China), had 49 volumes in print with more than 100 million words as of 2007.

The series is expected to cover more than 20,000 ancient books and texts in various categories including history, literature, philosophy, astronomy, medicine and others.

The period covered ranges from the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC) to the Revolution of 1911, led by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, which overthrew the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Work on the series began in 1992 with a government allocation of 400 million yuan (US$55 million). The series is scheduled to be finished by 2010 with more than 100 volumes and 800 million words.

"The compiling and publishing of this encyclopedia is a significant symbol of China's prosperity in economics and culture," said Wu Shangzhi, a senior official of the General Administration of Press and Publication. Wu added that the series would be highly useful in conveying Chinese ancient documents to academicians and ordinary readers alike.

(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)

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