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China Exclusive: President Xi's books sell in Taiwan

(Xinhua)    14:22, December 31, 2014
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TAIPEI, Dec. 31 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's latest book is gaining popularity in Taiwan, where works by leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) were once banned.

"The Governance of China," a collection of 79 speeches delivered by Xi between November 2012 and June 2014, hit the shelves of Taiwan's bookstores this month, along with another book by Xi titled "Shake off Poverty," published in 1992.

Lin Yi-ming, 50, who was born in southern Tainan City and now lives in Taipei as a freelancer, is one of the first Taiwanese readers to lay his hands on "The Governance of China."

"Quite different from Taiwan, policy-making on the mainland is closely connected with speeches by its top leaders, and Xi's book gives me a key to understanding his governing strategy, the leadership's position on major issues as well as its development course," said Lin, who has been closely observing the mainland's economic growth in past decades.

Lin said he wants to bring the book to his older brother, who works as a doctor in Tainan and plans to invest in the mainland market.

Like Lin, the book's buyers are mostly businessmen with an eye on the market across the strait, or those who have long been interested in the mainland, said Shen Rong-yu, one of the major distributors of Xi's books in Taiwan.

Shen, who has two bookshops on Chongqing South Road, began selling books printed in simplified Chinese characters, used on the mainland, as soon as the island lifted restrictions on mainland-published books more than a decade ago. Late CPC leader Mao Zedong's biography and his works were among the early mainland offerings in Taiwan.

"I felt a little bit surprised about the sales. I'm pragmatic, I would have removed this cardboard [display] featuring Xi's books, which takes up a whole wall, if no one bought the books," said the distributor, who has not yet read the book himself.

Nearly 600 of the two books have been sold in two weeks to ordinary readers and other booksellers, said Shen, adding that 1,800 more books just arrived from Fujian on the mainland, and he is pushing to put them on shelves in airport bookstores and at Eslite, one of the island's leading chain bookstores, before the coming Chinese New Year holiday.

Shen said there are many other distributors of Xi's books in Taiwan.

"Whether you like it or not, the mainland is rising, and people in Taiwan should understand it better," said Lin Yi-ming.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Du Mingming,Zhang Qian)
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