Taiwan may be small, but it is the world's Chinese-language publishing hub, putting out up to 50,000 titles each year, President Ma Ying-jeou said at the opening of the Taipei International Book Exhibition on Jan. 30.
However, mainland China, with a population 57 times that of Taiwan, only publishes three to four times as many titles, President Ma noted.
In the opening ceremony, President Ma said the publishing sector is an important part of cultural talks between Taiwan and mainland China, and expressed the hope that "there will be some breakthroughs soon." Taiwanese publishers are currently not allowed to set up independent companies in mainland China.
The president also hoped the number of visitors to the book fair could reach 1 million this year and encouraged the public to make a habit of reading.
Afterwards, the president, accompanied by Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, toured the book fair and bought 10 books, including Chinese translations of "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, "The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems" by Stephen R. Covey, and novels and book of poetry by Taiwanese and foreign authors.
The six-day exhibition, now in its 21st year, also includes a series of seminars and workshops on topics such as international publishing, digital reading and the development of digital content applications to improve exchanges in the global publishing sector. The event runs between Jan. 30 and Feb. 4 at Taipei World Trade Center Hall 1,2 and 3.
To learn more about the Taipei International Book Exhibition, please visit http://www.tibe.org.tw/.