A press conference on China Market Focus at the London Book Fair was held on March 7 at Langham Hotel, London. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming attended the press conference and made a speech. Over 100 guests were present at the press conference, including Mr. Zhang Fuhai, Director-General of the Department of Foreign Communication and Cooperation of the General Administration of Press and Publication , Mr. Bi Feiyu, a famous Chinese writer, Ms. Liu Yang, the designer of the China booth, Mr. Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of the London Book Fair, Ms. Susie Nicklin, Director of the British Council, Mr. Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association and journalists from China and Britain. The press conference was presided over by Mr. Stephen Philips, Chief Executive of the China-Britain Business Council.
Ambassador Liu delivering a speech
Ambassador Liu first welcomed friends from the media. He said books have been an important part of our lives for centuries. I am sure you are familiar with this quote from that very famous Roman called Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul." For the past two thousand years and more China has always been a book rich culture. Indeed, the first printed book was made in China and today it can be seen in the British Library.
Ambassador Liu pointed out that China attaches great importance to the annual London Book Fair. With China as the Market Focus this year, many authors, novelists, playwrights, journalists, artists, performers, agents and publishers will be coming from China to London. All of them will be the heroes of these events. Apart from that, some Chinese leaders will attend the opening ceremony and related activities. Chinese organizers are planning more than 300 activities in various form.
Ambassador Liu said that the China Market Focus at the London Book Fair is an important part of the series of events celebrating the 40th anniversary of full diplomatic relations between China and the UK. Over the past 40 years, China-UK relations have moved from strength to strength: There has been growing political mutual trust. There has been expanding economic cooperation. There has been deepening cultural exchanges. This means China's participation at the London Book Fair is also of much importance for the overall China-UK relationship. The China Market Focus at the London Book Fair is an important platform for presenting China's achievements in culture and other fields.
Finally, Ambassador Liu warmly invited all the friends in the UK media to cover the China Market Focus event at the London Book Fair. He called for concerted efforts to strengthen exchanges between China and the West with "New Perspectives and New Concepts" to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between China and the West.
Director-General Zhang Fuhai delivers a speech Bi Feiyu delivers a speech
Then, other Chinese and British guests also delivered speeches. Mr. Zhang Fuhai, Director-General of the Department of Foreign Communication and Cooperation of the General Administration of Press and Publication, introduced the main contents of the China Market Focus. He said that China's participation in the London Book Fair as the Guest of Honour will be a win-win situation for both countries. By then, 57 Chinese writers and over 600 Chinese publishers will come to the UK to take part in various cultural events. He hoped that the China Market Focus may facilitate exchanges between the publishing sectors of China and the UK and deepen the British public's understanding of Chinese culture. Mr. Bi Feiyu, a famous Chinese writer, said that as a Chinese writer, he himself very much looked forward to the China Market Focus. The true meaning of cultural exchange lies in the sharing of common literary memories and the creation of our common understanding of the meaning of life on the basis of freedom, friendship and mutual assistance. Ms. Liu Yang, the designer of the China booth, said that the five sections of the booth adopted the concepts of gold, wood, water, fire and earth in the traditional Chinese culture.
Ms. Liu Yang delivers a speech Director Alistair Burtenshaw delivers a speech
Mr. Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of the London Book Fair, thanked sponsors on both sides for their hard work, and expressed his hope that the China Market Focus at the London Book Fair will facilitate dialogues and understanding between international publishers. Ms. Susie Nicklin, Director of the British Council, noted that the British Council is committed to promoting UK-China cultural exchanges. The British public will take this opportunity to feel the depth and breadth of modern Chinese literature. Mr. Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said that China has a promising market and the China Market Focus will facilitate the exchanges between the publishing industries of both countries.
In the end, the Chinese and British sponsors answered questions from the audience. The press conference concluded with a lively Q&A session.
Ms. Susie Nicklin delivers a speech Chief Executive Richard Mollet delivers a speech