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UPDATED: October 14, 2009
Xi Calls for Enhancing Cultural Exchanges at Frankfurt Book Fair
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping attends the 61st version of the Frankfurt Book Fair

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for enhancing cultural exchanges to boost world peace at the opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Xi, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, witnessed the opening of the 61st version of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's biggest annual book fair. China has been selected as the Guest of Honor for this year's fair.

While addressing the opening ceremony, Xi said the fair not only provides a vital chance for China to appreciate the elite cultural products worldwide, but also opens a window for the people from various nations to observe Chinese culture at a shorter distance.

Xi said the Chinese side will take the opportunity of serving as the Guest of Honor to introduce Chinese culture as well as its prosperous development in the publishing industry.

The Chinese side will also learn from the successful experience of other countries in publishing to increase mutual communication and cooperation in this particular field, Xi said.

From October 14 to October 18, China will stage over 600 Guest of Honor events, aimed at showcasing Chinese culture and boosting dialogue between Chinese scholars and their foreign counterparts.

Xi said China upholds the idea of building a harmonious world with sustained peace and common prosperity.

Thanks to the exchanges among various cultures, people from different countries could get to know Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) from Germany, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) from Britain and Confucius (551 BC-479 BC) from China, Xi noted.

Frankfurt is the hometown of Goethe, the famous German writer and poet.

Cultural exchanges require understanding and respect, as well as overcoming discrimination and misunderstanding in this regard, Xi said.

Cultural diversity, which is a part of human society, should be maintained to build a more colorful world instead of becoming obstacles for cultural exchanges and reasons for conflicts, Xi said.

Different cultures should learn from each other rather than reject each other, he added.

Xi also warmly welcomed worldwide guests to visit the Theme Pavilion set up by the Chinese side for the book fair.

Following the opening ceremony, Xi visited the Theme Pavilion and officially unveiled the hall for public tour.

Arriving in Germany on Saturday morning, Xi held talks with Merkel and met with German President Horst Koehler in Berlin on Monday.

On Wednesday morning, Xi will leave Germany for Bulgaria to continue the third leg of his five-nation Europe tour.

(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2009)

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