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Learning Chinese
Gold Edition of The Analects and Sun-tzu's Art of War Published

A combined edition of The Analects of Confucius and Sun-tzu's Art of War has been published by the Shandong Press in east China to join the ranks of those rare books published on gold paper.

Created with the help of nanotechnology by the China Art and Calligraphy Matting Institute of Technology under the supervision of the China Confucius Foundation and the China Sun-tzuís Art of War Society, the book was printed in the ancient style with original complex Chinese characters and a vertical format packaged in a silk-covered wooden box.

The title of the book is the calligraphy of Shenpeng, president of the China Calligraphers Association while the preface was written by Ji Xianlin, a linguist and master of Chinese traditional culture.

ďAs far as I know, Christian missionaries Ignacio da Costa and P. Intorcetta were the first to translate The Analects into Latin and publish it in Europe,Ē Ji Xianlin said. ďAnd it exerted much influence upon Western civilization with more translations to follow. Translations of Sun-tzuís Art of War also have existed for quite some time. Now these two classics have been printed together on gold paper through high technology, demonstrating the grandeur of Oriental civilization and wisdoms for people all over the world.Ē

The National Library of China and the Palace Museum each received complimentary copies of the book from Shandong Press following a celebration of its publication on November 10 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, led by Zhao Nanqi, vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Shandong Province boasts many outstanding personages from ancient times, but among the most cherished are the philosopher, Confucius and the military strategist, Sun Wu, who lived in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).

The sayings of Confucius were remembered by his followers and later compiled The Analects (sayings) which is considered the Confucian canon. Sun-tzu's Art of War, written by Sun Wu in the 6th century BC and oldest military treatise in the world, remains required reading at military academies. Sun Wuís timeless wisdom has also become must-reading in corporate boardrooms.

Each copy of the special combined-edition of The Analects of Confucius and Sun-tzu's Art of War includes 19 sheets of 16mo [mo is a suffix used after numerals to indicate the number of leaves that results from folding a sheet of paper] gold paper with 19 grams of pure gold. The printing technology that allows both color pictures and Chinese characters to be printed directly on a gold surface also assures that the original luster of the gold will be preserved without fear of damage by water or insects or deterioration through oxidation.

(Translated by Chen Chao of the original that appeared on our Chinese website, November 16, 2001)

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