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Chinese Delegation Presents Books to Harvard-Yenching

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From left, Cen Jianjun, Fu Ziying, Liao Xiaoqi, Dan Hazen, Wilt Idema and Lydia Chen.

November 10, 2010 – Students, faculty and scholars studying ancient Chinese literature, Chinese culture and educational and social systems of modern China now have new resources to draw on, following the presentation of dozens of books to Harvard-Yenching Library by a delegation of business and political leaders from China.

The books were presented to Associate Librarian for Collection Development Dan Hazen in two groups. The first, covering topics ranging from educational policy to classical music to art, were given to the library on behalf of former State Council Vice-Premier Li Lanqing, who also signed each book. A well-known statesman, scholar and artist, Li remains active in promoting education in China as the honorary Chairman of the China Education Development Foundation, and head of the Fudan Premium Fund of Management. He has also lectured extensively on art, music and Chinese government policy, and authored several books.

The second group of items was presented on behalf of the China World Trade Center, a major commercial development in Beijing, and includes nearly 500 reproductions of works of ancient Chinese literature.

Attending the presentation of the books were Wilt Idema, Professor of Chinese Literature and Chair of the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department, and Dr. Lydia Chen, Associate Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

“China is developing at such a rapid pace, it is important for us to understand not only the past, but the future,” Idema said. “It is extremely important for scholars to have this type of high-quality reproductions of ancient Chinese texts – they will greatly enhance research.”

“On behalf of the faculty and students of the Fairbank Center, we greatly appreciate this gift,” Chen said, echoing Idema’s sentiments. “We cannot go forward without understanding the past, and these books will help us do that.”

Among those taking part in the presentation were: Liao Xiaoqi, Chairman of the China World Trade Center, Ltd.; Fu Ziying, Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce and Cen Jianjun, Counsellor of the Chinese Consulate General in New York.