A large Chinese book fair opened Saturday in the fourth largest U.S. city of Houston, featuring about 10,000 Chinese books and exposing local readers to colorful Chinese culture as well as the thoughts of China's ancient educator Confucius.
The Chinese Culture and Publishing Festival and Confucius Book Fair, jointly presented by a number of Chinese publishing companies, mainly from north China's Tianjin Municipality, and a local Chinese publishing company, also featured about a thousand Chinese audio-video and other cultural products.
Highlights of the book fair included classic Chinese novels, children's books, recent issues of Chinese magazines, and Chinese-English bilingual books, among others.
On the sideline of the two-day book fair, a lecture on Confucius was held and hundreds of Chinese books were donated to five local institutes, including the Huaxia Chinese School, University of Houston and Texas Southern University.
Addressing Saturday's opening ceremony of the book fair, Chinese Consul in Houston Chu Kaimin hailed the rapid development of China's publishing industry over the past three decades.
"Over the past five years, the types and total output of Chinese books have ranked No.1 in the world," Chu said, adding that this year, China's publishing industry has generated 1.3 trillion yuan ($205 billion).
The Houston book fair is the reflection of the development of China's publishing industry, he said, noting that the event will help promote friendship between the two peoples and serve as a platform for Houston readers to learn more about China's history and culture.
The U.S. congressman Al Green extended congratulation on the opening of the Chinese book fair in Houston.
"The Chinese community is strong in Houston," Green said, adding that one indicator of the importance of the local Chinese community is that next year, the ballot for the U.S. presidential elections will be printed in four languages, including Chinese.
Green also paid tribute to Chinese ancient sage Confucius, calling him a cross-border cultural symbol. In October 2009, sponsored by him, a U.S. House of Representative resolution was passed to honor Confucius, Green said.
The Houston book fair is a good opportunity for local readers to learn about Chinese cultures and thoughts of Confucius, Green said.
(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2011)