First Chinese library in Latin America opens
The Library Center of China, a joint project between the China Foreign Language Publishing Administration and the National Library of Peru, opened its doors in Lima, Peru on Sunday.
Calling it “a living room for the Chinese and Peruvian cultural intelligentsia”, Huang Kunming, executive deputy director of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, said that the center will serve as a window to showcase Chinese culture to Peruvians.
“The center will help Peruvians to know China better, and will provide a rich reservoir of information for scholars of China studies in Peru. In addition, the Chinese books will serve as Chinese language learning materials,” said Huang.
Huang said the books cover topics on China including history, culture, literature, traditional medicine, martial arts and modern China.
Initially stocked with 1,000 gifted copies of books, the center will be gradually expanded with about 300 books added every year, according to Hu Baomin, president of China Today and one of the organizers of the project. The initial installment of books consists of 60 percent books in Spanish and 40 percent in Chinese. Seminars on Chinese culture are also planned.
Gonzalo Gutiérrez Reinel, Peru’s ambassador to the European Union and former ambassador to China, said that cultural connections are necessary in addition to economic connections. “There is still a long way to go to improve bilateral exchanges,” he said. “I know that Peru has recently relaxed visa requirements for Chinese. All this will enhance the mutual exchange and understanding.”
Delfina Espinosa, director of the National Library of Peru, and Ana Castillo, deputy minister of culture of Peru, expressed appreciation for the gift from China and said that the China-Peru relationship had entered the best of times.
A small exhibition about the history of Chinese characters, the invention of paper and movable type printing and writing tools was presented to celebrate the opening of the center. Li Meng, design director at China Foreign Language Publishing Administration, said the displayed items are high-quality reproductions from the collection of China Printing Museum.
A special edition of China Today was also released to mark the 45th anniversary of China-Peru diplomatic ties.
Huang Kunming (foreground, left), executive deputy director of the Central Publicity Department, shows a book from the Library Center of China to Ana Castillo, Peru’s deputy minister of culture, in Lima on Sunday.