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Thai book fair sees chapters of potential

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-04-15 09:34

Chinese books draw Thai readers at this year's Bangkok International Book Fair. [Photo/Xinhua]

BANGKOK — Holding several books, including one on China's development, Wisan Chedi was searching for more books at a Chinese book exhibition booth at the Bangkok International Book Fair 2023.

"By reading the books, I'd like to know how China has achieved such rapid social and economic development over the past decades," he says.

The 51-year-old civil servant in Thailand's aviation sector started to learn Chinese in 2006. He can now read Chinese books and speak basic words and phrases.

"China pursues win-win cooperation, promoting cooperation with other countries for mutual benefits," he says, adding that China focuses on making everyone more prosperous, and Thailand can learn a lot from it, in terms of governance and economic policies.

Grabbing another book about the economics of China's opening-up, he says he is also interested in such topics as Chinese modernization and renminbi internationalization, and is planning to visit China via the China-Laos Railway.

The 11-day book fair, which ended on April 9, attracted not only fans but also Thai industry players amid closer cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.

At the book fair, Thailand's publishing house Hongsamut signed a contract with China's Elephant Publishing House on introducing one of the latter's book series into Thailand.

The book series, written for children, has stories about China's national parks.

"They are quality books for children, and the stories focus on environmental protection. We believe Thai children and parents would love the books," says Ken Yu, license director with Hongsamut.

He says Thai readers are keen to better understand China via Chinese books.

Chinese books about poverty reduction, governance, finance, economics and trade development are also welcomed by Thai readers as they are curious about how China was able to achieve rapid development in a short period of time, he says.

With cultural affinity, it's easier for Thai readers to understand Chinese novels, which are also popular in Thailand, he says.

Under a contract between China's Xiamen International Book and Thailand's Mangmoom Culture, one of The Grave Robbers' Chronicles, a best-selling novel series that tells of the grave-robbing exploits of a young man from a family of "tomb raiders", will be introduced into Thailand.

Besides paper books, the Xiamen company is also seeking cooperation with Thai companies to promote Chinese audiobooks. At the book fair, it held a panel discussion about audiobooks, which attracted Thailand's publishing houses, audiobook producers, audiobook service providers and translators.

"We have reached preliminary cooperation intention with Thai partners. We hope this will help to boost overseas readers' access to Chinese books, helping them read more about China and better understand China," says Wu Yunxi, the company's deputy general manager.

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