CBI Project

With a long history, age-old culture, beautiful landscape as well as various local customs and traditions, China is drawing the attention of more and more overseas people when great changes are taking place. Some of them come to China to learn and understand China from their own experience, some others try to make information about China accessible to themselves by reading newspapers and magazines and visiting the Internet. Among other things, as the most traditional and common in terms of cultural spread and international communication, the book is something suitable to let China much understood to foreign readers in a more comprehensive and detailed way. It is for this reason that China Book International Programme (CBI) was inaugurated by the Chinese government, which has turned out to be one of great measures that have been taken to familiarize people outside China with the country more by offering grants to the publication of books on China and giving Chinese books to foreign libraries for free.   

CBI dates back to March 2004 when the 24th Book Salon was held with an attendance of China as Guest of Honour during the Sino-French Cultural Year. Seventy titles from China, which were then subsidized by the State Council Information Office (SCIO) of China and published by local publishers in the French language, received warm response from French audiences when they were on exhibition at the Book Salon. As a result, as much as one third of them were sold within six days. Before that no Chinese titles had ever been translated in large quantities and put on sale to the public in France. The event showed that the Chinese government did hope to make China better known by bringing more books on China to foreign audiences, and foreign countries and audiences in turn have more opportunities of learning about China. Encouraged by this successful experience, CBI was put in practice with the approval of the SCIO and the State Administration of Press and Publication of China (SAPP), now reshuffled as the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, Television of China (SAPPRFT) in the second part of 2004.      

A working group was formed for CBI under the auspices of SCIO and SAPP in January 2006. The working group functions in such a way that meetings are organized to discuss relevant issues on a regular basis on the one hand and daily work for that matter are dealt with on the other. The office of the working group, headquartered first in China National Import & Export Group Corporation and now in another place, consists of China Publishing Group, China International Publishing Group, China Science Publishing Group, Beijing Publishing House Group, Shanghai Century Publishing Group, Guangdong Publishing Group Ltd, Shandong Publishing Group, Hunan Publishing Investment Holding Group Company Ltd, Liaoning Publishing Group, Chongqing Publishing Group, Phoenix Publishing & Media Group, Ltd, Sichuan Publishing Group, Zhejiang Publishing United Group, Jilin Publishing Group, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing Language and Culture University Press, Tsinghua University Press, China Intercontinental Press, the Information Center of the General Administration of Press and Publication and other large publishing organizations.

Up to the end of 2015, CBI has signed 1454 agreements (2792 books and 47 copyrights) with 564 publishers from 71 countries, including Britain, France, Japan, the United States, Australia, Germany, Holland, Russia, Korea, Vietnam, Brazil, The United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Singapore. Project for Translation and Publication of Chinese Cultural Works has signed 95 agreements (957 books and 15 copyrights) with 59 publishers from 24 countries.

Publishing organs in China may choose suitable titles from their publications and present their short-lists to the working group office of CBI twice a year, one being done during the period from January to February and the other during the period from July to August. Publishing organs may also present their short-lists to the working group office any time when they think it necessary to do so. The titles to be placed on the short-lists should be those dealing with the development of and change in modern China in political, economic, cultural and other fields, helping foreign audiences learn China, promoting Chinese culture, describing the major achievements that have been made in the research of natural and social sciences, and reflecting the Chinese traditional culture, literature and art characteristic of accumulated value.      

A catalogue of well-chosen titles is produced every year by the CBI working group so that those titles will be promoted both inside and outside China through book fairs, media, the Internet as well as magazines and journals. The website of China Book International is as follows: http://www.chinabookinternational.org/

If agreements are signed with foreign agencies or publishing organs on any titles that have been placed in the catalogue, arrangement must be made as to which side will apply for grants. If the applicant happens to be an organ inside China, it is required to fill in an application form and present it to the working group office along with the certificate of domicile of the foreign agency or publishing company with which it has signed the licensing agreement as well as the duplicate copy of the licensing agreement. If the applicant is outside China, the procedure is the same except that their application form and other required materials are presented to the working group office through Chinese embassies and consulates or rights agencies. It is also accepted if such application is presented directly to the working group office. As for titles that do not appear in the catalogue, grants can also be applied for after licensing agreements are signed on them and the same procedure is followed. All the applications will be reviewed, and once an application is approved, the applicant will sign a grant agreement with SCIO before fifty percent of the whole grant is offered. When the title that enjoys grant is published, the required number of reading copies of the title should be presented to SCIO before the rest of grant is offered.  

Let China better and more exactly known to the rest of the world is the aim of CBI. Every effort will be bent to enrich and perfect CBI, thus making a great bridge between China and the rest of the world by promoting the trading of rights with overseas organs and the export of printed books.