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  • Writer's pictureZhang Yaoyuan

The 40th KLIBF Opens as China Guest of Honor

Writer: Zhang Yaoyuan

Editor: An Ke

The Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (KLIBF) has long been a fascinating hub for lovers of literature in Malaysia and beyond. Founded in 1981, KLIBF is a major cultural event in Malaysia. The 40th KLIBF China Guest of Honor event opened at the World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This year's book fair was launched on May 26 and will last for 10 days.

Malaysian Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, Vice Minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee Zhang Jianchun, Minister of Education, Malaysia Farina Sidi, and Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujin jointly opened this guest-of-honor event. It is hoped that through the book fair, cultural exchanges between China and Malaysia will be promoted and bilateral friendships deepened.

(People who come to KLIBF to participate. Photo source: Xinhua News Agency)

The choice of China as the guest of honor at KLIBF represents an important milestone in the history of the fair. It highlights the profound cultural exchange between Malaysia and China and opens the door to a deeper understanding of China's literary tradition and its impact on global literature. By showcasing China's vibrant literary tapestry, KLIBF celebrates the shared human experience across national borders and language barriers.

The exhibition hall has several exhibition areas, covering literature, history, art, philosophy, travel, and other fields. Among them, "Confucian Collection", "100 Classics of Chinese Traditional Culture" and other outstanding books displaying the core concepts of excellent Chinese traditional culture, traditional Chinese virtues, and Chinese humanistic spirit received special attention. This time, there is also a special showcase of more than 100 multilingual editions of Chinese fine books published in cooperation between China and publishing institutions in ASEAN countries.

Translator, Wang Jun, said "Translating Chinese literature into different languages allows readers around the world to experience the beauty and depth of our literary heritage. KLIBF provides a platform for translators like me to engage with publishers, discuss translation challenges, and promote Chinese literature to different audiences. This is a valuable opportunity to bridge the cultural divide through the power of translation."

(KLIBF book section. Photo source: Xinhua News Agency)

A renowned Malaysian publisher, Lim Suling, said "KLIBF attracts a large number of readers and industry professionals. The presence of China provides an incredible opportunity for Malaysian publishers to explore potential collaborations, acquire translation rights, and introduce Chinese literature to the local market. It opens the door for cross-cultural collaboration and expands the Malaysian publishing industry."

During the exhibition, renowned writers and scholars from China were on hand to interact with readers. They shared their writing experiences, literary creation concepts, and views on cultural exchange between China and Malaysia.

A renowned Chinese writer, Li Wei, said "As a writer, it is an unspeakable honor to be invited to represent China at this prestigious book fair. It allows me to share my stories and insights with an international audience, and to learn from other authors. I hope this collaboration will deepen the cultural ties between China and Malaysia and foster a greater appreciation of Chinese literature."

There will also be special workshops and lectures on topics related to Chinese literature, art, and history, attracting a wide range of scholars and cultural enthusiasts to participate in the discussions. From classical masterpieces to contemporary literature, from historical studies to science and technology, from children's books to art picture books, the diversity and high quality of Chinese publications drew widespread attention.

Mei Ling, an enthusiastic reader who attended the book fair, said, "I have always been fascinated by Chinese literature, but approaching works in translation can be challenging. Having China as a guest means that I will have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of Chinese books, discover new authors, and expand my reading horizons. It's an incredible opportunity for a Malaysian reader like me."

In addition to the exhibition and networking events, the book fair also features a cultural display area and a Chinese cultural experience area. Visitors can enjoy traditional Chinese art performances, taste Chinese specialties, and participate in some traditional handicrafts. which provides Malaysians with the opportunity to experience Chinese culture up close and personal.

China's participation in KLIBF as the guest of honor transcends the boundaries of a single event. It paves the way for future collaborations, academic partnerships, and cultural exchanges between the Malaysian and Chinese literary communities. The expo catalyzes meaningful connections, inspires friendships, and fosters an enduring appreciation of each other's cultures and stories.

KLIBF's event director, Ahmad Hassan, said “We are delighted to have China as our guest of honor this year, China's rich literary tradition and its tremendous influence on global literature make it the perfect candidate for this noble role. We hope that this collaboration will deepen cultural understanding and provide a platform for literary exchange between Malaysia and China.”

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