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"That’s China Bookshelf" helps spread Chinese stories along the Belt and Road

By  Qiang Meijuan (People's Daily Online)    09:26, August 28, 2018

On March 7, 2018, local readers peruse the China Bookshelf on the opening day of the “That’s China Bookshelf” in Turkey’s Nezih Bookstore. (Photo/People’s Daily Overseas Edition)

A bookshelf called the “That’s China Bookshelf," laden with nearly one thousand books filled with stories from China captivated local readers in Bangkok, Thailand on July 26, according to People’s Daily Overseas Edition.

The unique bookshelf is one of China’s real-life examples of the “That’s China Bookshelf” project, which intends to promote Chinese books of rich cultural reference to share stories about China with the world, and to provide readers in various countries a window to better understand China.

As a new channel and new brand of Chinese cultural publicity, "That's China Bookshelf" was the brainchild of Jing Xiaomin, deputy director of China Intercontinental Press, who was inspired by a Japanese Bookstore in the United Arab Emirates, and decided to create a dedicated platform that would help introduce Chinese stories to a foreign audience.

The “That’s China Bookshelf” project was launched in January 2016 during the 47th Cairo International Book Fair, as a subproject of the Publishing Project under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It aims to introduce Chinese literature to countries along the Belt and Road, thus contributing to cultural exchange along the route.

Photo taken in May 2017 shows the opening ceremony of the first bookshelf of “That’s China Bookshelf” in Jadir Bookstore in the United Arab Emirates. (Photo/People’s Daily Overseas Edition)

At present, the China Bookshelf team have set up a total of 15 bookshelves in 13 countries including Egypt, Turkey, the UAE, Argentina, Germany, France, the United States, and Singapore.

The “That’s China Bookshelf” project not only helps introduce high-quality Chinese books to people along the Belt and Road, but also enables foreigners living in China or coming to China to understand Chinese culture more thoroughly.

Foreigners in China can now find multilingual versions of Chinese literature in foreign-related institutions such as famous scenic spots, international hotels, and foreign bookstores in 10 major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen.

Books displayed on this unique bookshelf include Chinese classics such as Tang Poetry and Song Lyrics, books that explain the "Belt and Road" initiative, practical guides to living in China, and Xi Jinping: The Governance of China.

Besides paper books on the shelves, the China Bookshelf also explores more channels to spread Chinese stories along the Belt and Road by creating a digital reading App and online version of “That’s China Bookshelf”.

With the help of China’s multinational networking and telecommunications equipment provider Huawei, the organizers of China Bookshelf launched a digital reading App named “That’s Books” in Arabic.

This January, the online version of “That’s China Bookshelf” was established by JD.com, a major e-commerce company. So far, more than 1,500 Chinese books covering a range of subject matter in 16 languages have been sold on overseas platforms of JD.com.

With more major Chinese publishers attracted to the project, Jing Xiaomin now has bigger dreams, planning to build the “That’s China Bookstore” in countries all over the world.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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