China, UK showcase best books in London

Updated: 2016-04-13 08:31

By Li Wensha and Fu Jing in London(China Daily)

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China, UK showcase best books in London

Visotors look to a booth at the London Book Fair April 12, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and the UK are among more than 110 countries displaying their best books at the London Book Fair this week.

Publishers from both countries are marking the 400th anniversaries this month of the deaths of playwrights Tang Xianzu and William Shakespeare.

A specially commissioned Chinese play combining Tang's Peony Pavilion and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was being performed in Chinese and English on Tuesday, the opening day.

A mini performance space based on Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has been set up at the Olympia exhibition center in London. Shakespearean actors from around the world will perform extracts of works in six languages - Chinese, Spanish, Polish, Hindi, Arabic and English - in recognition of Shakespeare's global influence.

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the London Book Fair is a global marketplace for the negotiation of rights, sales and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.

Wang Jihui, a professor of English at Peking University, said the two legendary writers can help people to understand both countries' civilizations.

Wang also said there is a shortage of understanding and cultural exchanges between China and the West, and urged the latter to take a more active approach, particularly in view of a Chinese-UK commitment to strengthen their partnership.

As part of the 400th anniversary celebrations, a delegation from China Publishing Group Corp headed by company vice-president Li Yan visited Bohunt School in Hampshire, southern England, where CPG donated books.

Last year, the school was invited to take part in a BBC documentary, Are Our Kids Tough Enough? The broadcaster invited five Chinese middle school teachers for a month of Chinese-style teaching at the school, triggering debate on educational differences.

CPG brought along more than 100 books, including bilingual texts of Shakespeare and Tang, Chinese textbooks, reference works, books for adolescents and works on Chinese history and culture.

Wang Mingjie and Song Wei contributed to this story in London.