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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

London Book Fair offers opportunity to "read" China through books

(Xinhua)

15:38, April 18, 2012

LONDON, April 16 (Xinhua) -- On Feb. 9, 2010, European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton was captured in a photograph reading a book titled "What Does China Think?" while waiting for a conference at the European Parliament.

Apparently, Ashton wanted to learn more about China by reading books.

Two years later, Ashton may have little difficulty finding a book on China-related topics in her own country, Britain, since London is hosting its annual book fair with a focus on China.

The three-day 2012 London Book Fair (LBF) opened here on Monday, with China being honored as the Market Focus country for the first time.

The opening ceremony of the largest LBF Market Focus program so far was held on Sunday evening. Chinese and British government officials, British royal family members as well as hundreds of publishers, rights managers and writers from China and around the world participated.

Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said at the ceremony: "The London Book Fair is one of the most important of its kind in the world. Being the country of honor at the London Book Fair, China believes that it will open an important window for foreigners to take a closer look at Chinese culture and provide a prime opportunity for Chinese publishers to learn from international peers."

Li arrived in London Sunday on a four-day official visit to Britain, with an aim to promote cultural exchange and bilateral ties between the two countries.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries and will see London host the Summer Olympics, bringing new opportunities for China and Britain to further their ties, Li said.

"The rich and varied events hosted by China as the country of honor will give a full picture of China's unique culture and its modern development," Li said. "Our friends will have a chance to feel China, know China and understand China."

On the British side, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, said at the ceremony that dialogue is the key to building relationships between countries.

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