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Chinese president's book introduced in Greece as centerpiece at book fair

By Maria Spiliopoulou (Xinhua)    13:58, May 13, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping's book "Xi Jinping: The Governance of China" was introduced to Greek audience on Thursday in a central Athens bookstore during an event attended by senior Greek and Chinese officials and book fans.

The international best seller, which outlines the concepts and principles of the modern Chinese dream for the further development and prosperity of China, is the centerpiece of a selection of 2,000 books which will be on display at the 13th Thessaloniki International Book Fair in northern Greece from Thursday to Sunday.

Addressing the promotion event at Eleftheroudakis bookstore, one of the largest bookstores in Greece, Chinese and Greek dignitaries welcomed the introduction of President Xi's book as well as other publications to Greek readers as a significant step in efforts to further facilitate the better understanding and cooperation between the two countries and peoples.

"I hope that this book will mark the beginning of closer cooperation between publishers of the two countries," said Lu Cairong, vice president of China International Publishing Group, the book's publisher, adding that it opens a new window of China to the world.

"Xi Jinping: The Governance of China" is a compilation of the Chinese leader's major works from November 2012 to June 2014. It comprises 79 speeches, talks, interviews, instructions and correspondence in 18 chapters, accompanied by relevant notes about China's social system, history and culture for reader's reference.

Since its first publication in October 2014, it has sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide in more than 100 countries and has been translated into 11 languages including English, French, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Japanese, while editions in more languages are planned.

"I believe this book will help Greek readers better understand China and will contribute to the further development of bilateral relations," said Wu Shangzhi, vice minister of State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China.

Aristides Baltas, Greece's minister of Culture and Sports, for his part, welcomed the introduction of President Xi's book and other Chinese publications as a new bridge that will help strengthen Sino-Greek ties in the cultural sector.

"I am eager to read it, because I believe that by reading this book I will get to learn China better. I hope that soon I will read it for a second time in Greek," Baltas said.

"Let's start reading books and let's walk a thousand miles. Let's start from this book," Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli underlined the significance of cultural exchanges between the two countries in the further promotion of cooperation in other fields.

The ambassador also suggested Greek readers add President Xi's book to their bookshelves, explaining that inside the 500 pages they will find answers to important questions regarding China, international relations and Beijing's vision for the future.

Addressing the event, Ioannis Konstantaropoulos, president of the Association of Greek Publishers and Booksellers, who has already read the book in English, praised its content and Beijing's respect to cultural heritage, calling for closer cooperation in this sector between the two countries which represent two of the world's great ancient civilizations.

"I think that President Xi Jinping's vision includes the extroversion of the Chinese ancient and modern civilizations, and Greece is perhaps the ideal place to launch the exchanges of cultural heritage," he said.

Greek Deputy Minister of State Terence Quick also attended the ceremony.

The spotlight from Friday turns to Thessaloniki which hosts Greece's largest book fair, attracting about 100,000 visitors annually. Bookmakers from 30 countries will be present this year, including China which will participate for the seventh consecutive year with a delegation including members of 30 renowned Chinese publishing groups.

President Xi's book and another 600 Chinese books will be on display until Sunday at the Chinese booth focusing on politics, the economy, culture and society in China.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wu Chengliang,Bianji)

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