Home / 2017 NPC and CPPCC

Belt and Road opens new chapter for authors

By Mei Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-10 06:50



In the early 2000s, China began a campaign to encourage domestic publishers to compete on the global stage and work with international publishers. While some are looking to the English-language market, others, such as the China Intercontinental Press and Beijing Normal University Press, are seeking opportunities along the new trading route.

The two publishers are among 16 that have established branches in countries within the scope of the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Zhao: "In addition to copyright trades, localization operations are an important and effective way of 'going out'."

Jing Xiaomin, deputy director of the China Intercontinental Press, believes Chinese books should reach out to all readers, not just people combing the shelves of university libraries.

To ensure that readers are easily able to locate Chinese-themed books, her company has established special "China Shelves" at two of the biggest bookstores in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

"One big surprise came with our digital book platform called That's. We set out to offer an e-book system for our Arabic partners to learn about Chinese titles. In appreciation of our technology, 40 local publishers have offered the platform 10,000 titles in Arabic, accounting for 70 percent of the total," Jing said. "We're pleased to see our e-book standards have been accepted internationally."

One of the current darlings of the Chinese publishing world is spy novelist Mai Jia, who is being promoted heavily in the international market.

"One of our secrets is to take the writers to meet the readers, not only at international book fairs, but also in Chinese departments at universities or China Study Institutes, where we are received warmly every time," she said.

Jing believes that the younger generation of up-and-coming Chinese writers will have few problems gaining global recognition because they are more internationalized than previous generations and most of them speak excellent English.

"They write about topics that prompt sympathy, such as starting businesses and the pressures of everyday life," she said.

Beijing Normal University Press has also tasted success with three series of books covering ancient classics, contemporary literature and China's development model, as part of an extended project called The Zayed Collection. The press is also introducing the works of contemporary poet Hai Zi to the poetry-loving Arabs.

Translation challenge

Xie Xi, who leads the press's international business department, said a lack of qualified translators poses a big challenge for Chinese publishers working on books that will appeal to a global audience. To resolve the problem, many publishers are now working with Chinese universities, the Foreign Ministry and international organizations to nurture more talent.

Both Intercontinental and the university press use at least two translators for each book, one from China and one from the target market, which ensures both precision and originality.

At the same time, an increasing number of Chinese publishers are participating in international book fairs held in countries along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese publishers were out in force at last year's Cairo International Book Fair, at which China was the guest of honor. Next month, Abu Dhabi will host a book fair featuring Chinese books.

And it isn't just books, the Arabic version of Pathlight, a leading Chinese literary magazine, gained popularity at book fairs after its publisher, the People's Literature Magazine, issued the translated version.

Some of the books destined for Chinese-Arabic exchanges-such as Civilisational Repositioning: China's Rise and the Future of the Arab People by the Jordanian writer Samer Khair Ahmad-have proved so popular that English versions are now being produced.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Languages Press and the New World Press are maintaining momentum by introducing the aims of the Belt and Road Initiative in English and other languages. Bright Prospects for the Belt and Road Initiative, published by the Foreign Languages Press, introduces the project in easy-to-read brochures, while Biking the Silk Road tells the story of a 6-year-old girl and her family who travel along the route by bicycle for 80 days.

"I hope there will be more enthusiasm about China in countries along the routes of the initiative, so more books will provide better knowledge about our country and nourish greater understanding," said Liu Xinlu, from the Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Contact the writer at meijia@chinadaily.com.cn


Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349