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Cross-Straits book fair calls for increased mainland-Taiwan collaboration

By Hu Meidong in Fujian | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-22 14:55
People visit the 15th Cross-Strait Book Fair, which concluded Sunday, at the Xiamen International Convention and Exhibition Center in Fujian province. [Photo/Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"China is moving to become a publishing power in the world, which provides a good opportunity for the development of the publishing industry on both sides of the Straits," said Wu Shulin, executive vice-president of the China Publishing Association.

He made the marks during the 15th Cross-Strait Book Fair, which concluded Sunday, at the Xiamen International Convention and Exhibition Center in Fujian province.

The three-day book fair attracted 520 publishing organizations from both sides of the Straits. Among them, 300 were from the Chinese mainland and 220 from Taiwan.

About 700,000 books, in 200,000 titles, were featured in the fair, most of which are new books, bestsellers and high-quality books published over the past two years.

Chen Lihua, deputy head of the publicity department of the CPC Fujian provincial committee, said during the opening ceremony that no matter how many disturbances and obstacles there are, exchanges between compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits cannot be cut off.

Compatriots on both sides of the Straits should carry forward the fine traditions of Chinese culture and promote its creative transformation and development, said Chen.

Li Yongqiang, president of China Renmin University Press, introduced practices that the press has taken in digital publishing in recent years.

He said the press has been committed to the collaborating and publishing with peers across the Taiwan Straits and the promotion of Chinese civilization.

"While strengthening the copyright trade, we have also taken advantage of international publishing over the years to build an international platform to bridge the gap between China and the world," said Li.

Zhao Zhengmin, chairman and general manager of Taiwan Times Publishing Co and director of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation, said there is still room for further cross-Strait book exchanges.

He said that the number of novels imported from the Chinese mainland has increased by at least 10 percent in recent years, especially those related to history and lifestyle.

But the number of books imported from Taiwan to the mainland has been declining year by year.

Zhao said book approval procedures should be simplified and accelerated to facilitate cross-Strait publishing exchanges.

Wu Shulin of the China Publishing Association suggested that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan should make publishing children's books one of their priorities.

China is now the world's largest children's book publishing market, but Wu said it accounts for just 22 percent of the popular consumer market.

"If we want to become a publishing power, an important indicator is that children's publishing should account for at least 30 percent of the mass consumer market," he said.

In recent years, cross-Strait book copyright exchanges have been active, with transactions of more than 2,500 copyrighted items taking place annually.

According to official statistics, in 2018, the Chinese mainland introduced 798 publication copyrights from Taiwan and exported 1,449 from the mainland to Taiwan, which has enriched the minds of readers on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and promoted the common development of the publishing industry on both sides.

Lu Ruoxuan contributed to the story.

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