Global Times: China-Indonesia translation project promotes mutual understanding

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Nov. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of young Indonesians gather in front of a large LED screen at the China booth at the Indonesia International Book Fair (IIBF) in Jakarta to watch a promotion video for the Liangzhu Culture, one of China's earliest civilization sites. They are astonished to learn that the site shows China's long civilization stretches back to over 5,000 years ago. 

This is just the first new fact among the many they would go on to learn that day about the Liangzhu Culture thanks to collaboration between Chinese and Indonesian publishing houses.

Four books released in Indonesia by China's Social Sciences Academic Press and Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia.

"The translation project between China and Indonesia is a significant part of China's initiative to translate Asian classics from and into Chinese, which was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in 2019," said Xu Liping, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In his keynote speech on May 15, 2019, Xi said that China is happy to launch initiatives with relevant countries to translate Asian classics and promote film and TV exchanges and cooperation.

This will help people in Asia better understand and appreciate each other's cultures as well as building a platform for exchange and mutual learning, so that the best of Asian civilizations can be appreciated by more people around the world.

China-Indonesia cooperation has allowed more books narrating China's development and cultural achievements enter Indonesia.

"Books are a bridge to connect human culture," said Paulus Rudolf Yuniarto, a researcher from the Research Center for Area Studies, Indonesia National Research and Innovation. "The idea of translating Chinese and Indonesian classic works is an important channel for mutual understanding of the cultural differences."

Indonesian sinologist Novi Basuki said that from the political and economic cooperation, China and Indonesia have been doing a "great job in improving bilateral relations." However at the level of people-to-people exchanges, "prejudices and misunderstandings still exist for many reasons including a lack of cultural communication."

To reduce bias between the two countries' societies, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, such as the literature translation project, appear to be "much more important than many other aspects, as it acts as the base for solid political and economic cooperation," Basuki added.

Source: Global Times