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Chinese publisher showcases China-themed books by British authors

By Bo Leung (China Daily)    15:04, March 13, 2019

Liu Dawei (middle), vice-president of China International Publishing Group, speaks at London Book Fair. [Photo by Bo Leung / China Daily]

The annual London Book Fair is back for its 48th year, drawing in thousands of people from the publishing industry as well as authors, designers, editors, and visitors to the Olympia exhibition center in West Kensington.

More than 60 countries are exhibiting and some 25,000 publishing professionals showing off their latest offers, from giant houses to the smallest independent stores.

To celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK diplomatic relations at the charge d’affaires level, China International Publishing Group is exploring China-themed books by British authors at the fair.

The event, China in the Eyes of the British, includes a book authored by Michael Bates, a former member of the UK Parliament, who wrote about his journey through China, and an updated version of Pingjuby the late British sinologist John Chinnery.

Liu Dawei, vice-president of China International Publishing Group, said many China-themed books are on show at the London Book Fair that have made a great contribution in telling the story of China and showing the world a fresh, vivid, and comprehensive view of China.

Bates’ new book, Walk Your Dream and Walk for Peace, charts his journey through China in 2015 when he and his China-born wife, Xuelin Bates, undertook a 71-day walk from Beijing to Hangzhou to raise money for Red Cross Society projects in China.

Setting off from the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and hiking about 1,689 kilometers to the eastern city of Hangzhou, the couple raised $110,000.

“We really enjoy communicating with people and sharing those experiences and, as long as people are interested in reading about them, we will keep writing them,” Michael Bates said. “When you’re walking, you constantly need to talk to people, you need get water, directions, and just rest and talk to people … so those human interactions are what we want to do through our charity work and also trying to be friendship envoys between the UK and China.”

In 2018, Bates walked 258 kilometers from Beijing to Tangshan in Hebei province, raising more than $480,000 that was used to set up a Sino-British vocational education scholarship that helps 100 students from poor areas, and supporting the Prince’s Foundation in the UK.

This new edition combines the previous book as part one and the new diary entries and reflections as part two.

Meanwhile, Frances Wood, sinologist and former head of Chinese collections at the British Library, introduced the updated version of Pingju: Real Life Opera and a ‘Rural Chinese Shakespeare’by the late sinologist John Chinnery.

Wood described the book as “very important” and said it “introduces a significant dramatic form which is completely unknown in the West, though most tourists who visit China will be familiar with Peking Opera. Pingju is so much more”. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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