China-themed books by British authors launched at London Book Fair

Launch and donation ceremony of several new China-themed books by British authors took place Tuesday at the London Book Fair.

On the opening day of the London Book Fair, China International Publishing Group (CIPG) held a special book launch event called, "China in the Eyes of the British," to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK diplomatic relationship at the level of charge d'affaires.

The event saw the launch of Walk Your Dream by British Minister of State at the Department for International Development, Lord Michael Bates and his wife Li Xuelin, and the book PINGJU: Real Life Opera of Northern China written by John Chinnery and published by New World Press.

Lord Bates's Walk for Peace: Transcultural Experiences in China and PINGJU: Real Life Opera and a 'Rural Chinese Shakespeare' published by New World Press and Global China Press together were also introduced at the event.

Michael Bates wrote Walk Your Dream after he and his wife had a charity walk across China in 2018 to boost awareness of the country's achievements and development over the last 40 years.

A file photo shows that people enjoy reading and leisure time at the 46th London Book Fair in London, March 14, 2017. /VCG Photo

A file photo shows that people enjoy reading and leisure time at the 46th London Book Fair in London, March 14, 2017. /VCG Photo

It was the seventh such walk undertaken by the couple in the recent years. The author and his wife walked about 260 kilometers from Beijing to Tangshan's Caofeidian, raising over 365,550 pounds (about 477,590 U.S. dollars) for China's Education Charity Fund and the Prince's Trust, the foundation of the UK's Prince Charles, to help impoverished youth in China and Britain escape from poverty, and encourage them to pursue and realize their dreams.

"What most people know about China is political or economic and it's not really cultural and people-to-people. So what we tell in the book is a collection of stories about taxi drivers, steel workers, retired people, children, party secretaries, just people we met while walking. It wasn't arranged. It was just accidental and it's a picture," Bates told Xinhua.

"Most people have problems with other countries because they are frightened of them. And I hope that through our walk Xuelin and I did, through our book, we can ensure that there's some people in China and some people in the UK will be less fearful, more interested and more respectful of each other as a result," he added.

The new books were donated to the University of Cambridge, University of Westminster and famous sinologists in the UK.

A still of a Pingju Opera called "Xiangzi and Huniu." /VCG Photo

A still of a Pingju Opera called "Xiangzi and Huniu." /VCG Photo

Bates, British sociologist Martin Albrow and Dr. Frances Wood, English historian known for her writings on Chinese history, delivered speeches at the event in which they discussed their understanding of Chinese politics, philosophy and culture with reference to the books they wrote or prefaced.

They also shared their observations and analyses of China from the British perspective, the changes taking place in contemporary China, the tradition of Chinese opera and China's concept of building a community of shared future for mankind.

Liu Dawei, vice-chair of CIPG, said the event will surely help promote further successful exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and British peoples from all walks of life.

"These books are historical witnesses and cultural symbols of the exchanges between the two countries and reflect the profound and close friendship between the Chinese and British peoples," he said.

The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. In 2019 it celebrates its 48-year anniversary with over 25,000 publishing professionals from all over the world gathering in London from Tuesday to Thursday.

(Top Photo: A file photo shows a general view of the 46th London Book Fair in London, March 14, 2017. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency