A customer browses at a special booth for Chinese books at a Barnes & Nobel bookstore in New York on May 27. The 2015 BookExpo America runs from May 27 to May 31, with China taking part as the Global Market Forum Guest of Honor for the first time.[Photo/Xinhua]
The Big Apple embraced the charm of Chinese books and culture as the BookExpo America opened on May 27, featuring China as the Global Market Forum Guest of Honor for the first time.
“There is a fast-growing demand to learn more about China, its culture and its language,” Tom Reycraft, president of Benchmark Education told China Daily.
Zhang Qiyue, China’s consul general in New York, believes the event will answer that demand.
“I am confident that the programs will give the American public access to everything exciting about China in the world of books and deepen the business ties between the world’s two largest publishing markets,” Zhang said.
Wu Shangzhi, vice-minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said the event is an important cultural exchange between China and the United States.
Wu said the Chinese publishing market is a vibrant one, and that by last year it had established publishing exchanges with 190 countries and regions, of which “the United States is the biggest trading partner”.
With a delegation of 500 professionals and 25 celebrated writers, China is presenting the largest-ever publishing presence in the US at BookExpo America, Wu said.
The guest of honor pavilion, covering an area of 2,342 square meters, will display more than 10,000 Chinese titles, most of them translated into English.
BookExpo America, one of the world’s major book gatherings, attracts publishing professionals from 80 countries.
According to the head of the Chinese delegation, Chen Yingming, China has been the guest of honor at major international book fairs since 2004, in an effort to promote Chinese books to international audiences.
“We view it as a stage to present Chinese culture and development, besides the publishing exchanges,” Chen said.
China’s “going global” publishing strategy has been active for a decade.
The international market now has a greater interest in Chinese titles than 10 years ago, and “great progress has been made”, Wu said.
“The change is profound in that global interest is now more focused on the latest Chinese titles about the country’s recent development and social updates, rather than the traditional culture,” Wu said.
The guest of honor logo states, “Experience the future through China”. The publishing delegation and writers will try to offer that at the 130 events and six major exhibitions in New York and other US cities.
“Writers, scholars and publishers can tell better stories and touch the heart of each and every reader,” said Consul General Zhang.
Ruediger Wischenbart, BookExpo America’s program coordinator, told China Daily, “The most important aspect is probably to allow a deeper understanding for American publishers and media of the extremely dynamic and diverse developments in the Chinese book business.”