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Journey to the West

By Yang Guang (China Daily)

09:00, August 29, 2012

(Photo from China Daily)

The country's publishing industry is starting to see returns from its near 10-year going global campaign, according to Yang Guang.

It's been 2,000 years since papermaking was developed in China and spread to the rest of the world through the Silk Road, and 1,000 years or so for movable type printing.

The Chinese publishing industry, however, has been engaged in an ongoing global campaign for less than a decade.

Considerable achievements have been accomplished though, especially after the initiation of the China Book International project in 2006.

Launched by the State Council Information Office and the General Administration of Press and Publication, China Book International aims to facilitate the overseas publication of Chinese books through providing funds for translation. To date, it has supported the publication of 2,156 books in 33 languages, and in 54 countries and regions.

With the 19th Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) opening on Wednesday, Chinese publishers are braced to take advantage of this platform and take part in new exchanges with their international counterparts.

Hou Hui, director of Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Press' (FLTRP) international division, emphasizes the importance of the annual BIBF for her.

"Each year, we will make full use of the fair to exchange ideas face-to-face with our international partners and many of our co-publishing projects started this way," she says.

During this year's BIBF, FLTRP will cooperate with Germany's Springer in launching an English-language China Academic Library, a project to publish classical academic works by top Chinese scholars. The first batch of titles to emerge includes works from the sociologist and anthropologist Fei Xiaotong, historical geographer Hou Renzhi and economist Li Yining.

Since China started translating foreign literature a century ago, it has predominantly been a one-way street. But the situation has begun to change.

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