Award honors foreigners for facilitating exchanges

Updated: Jun 19, 2024 By YANG YANG China Daily Print
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The ceremony for the 17th Special Book Award of China was held in Beijing on Tuesday to honor foreigners who have made outstanding contributions in introducing contemporary China, promoting Chinese publications and related cultural products overseas, and facilitating cultural exchanges and mutual learning between China and other civilizations.

A total of 15 translators, publishers and authors from 12 countries received the award in a ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

Among the winners were German Sinologist Karin Betz, Albanian publisher Petrit Ymeri, and United States Sinologist Stephen Owen.

Betz has managed to integrate cultural and artistic experience in her translations in order to keep the language fresh and vivid, presenting readers with a rich and fluent reading experience. Her representative works include The Golden Age by late novelist Wang Xiaobo, Sandalwood Death by Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan, and Decoded by bestselling Chinese espionage novelist Mai Jia.

For many years, Ymeri, president of Dituria Publishing House and chairman of the Albanian Publishers Association, has been working to promote Sino-Albanian cooperation in publishing and cultural exchanges. He has published works including a translation of the Chinese classic A Dream of Red Mansions, written by Cao Xueqin during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

US Sinologist Owen, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Harvard University professor, has devoted decades to systematically translating China's literary classics, advocating intensive reading and comparison of Eastern and Western texts. A chief editor of the Cambridge History of Chinese Literature, he has built a bridge for communication and cooperation in promoting academic dialogue and development between China and the West.

Established in 2005, the Special Book Award of China has been given to 203 recipients from 63 countries. The award has become a highlight of the annual Beijing International Book Fair, which opened on Tuesday and runs until Sunday this year, according to organizers.

"The recipients of the Special Book Award of China bridge Chinese and Western cultures. With an objective and fair stance, along with profound knowledge, they have long observed, researched, and reflected on China," said a research paper devoted to the award published in the journal Publishing Research in May.

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