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UPDATED: 19:13, March 11, 2005
China plans mammoth effort to popularize ancient literature overseas
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A Chinese publishing giant is planning an unprecedented effort to share the Chinese cultural pith with the world by publishing a giant collection of Chinese classics in English, according to sources from the ongoing session of the National People's Congress (NPC).

Yang Muzhi, a NPC deputy and president of China Publishing Group, said his group is preparing to publish the collection named "Greater China Library" in English, consisting of 100-strong copies of ancient Chinese literary, historical and philosophical books and records, an unprecedented endeavor.

Presently, translation and editing of some 20 copies of classical literature has been finished and another 30 will be ready for print by the end of June, said Yang.

The selected works of Chinese literature include "Twenty-four Histories", a biographic series written by different historians from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) to earlier the Qing Dynasty(1644-1911), "Analects of Confucius", and "The West Chamber", a drama written by famous Chinese playwright Wang Shipu of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

A handful of Chinese big-name scholars and translators have contributed to the mammoth effort, said Yang.

He also called for national support, mainly in financial terms, to similar moves aiming to popularize traditional Chinese culture across the globe.

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