The Sofia International Book Fair has just wound up, and among the key players was China’s Foreign Language Teaching & Research Press (FLTRP), attending the fair, which typically sees about 50,000 visitors, for the first time.

Although it was China’s first Sofia Book Fair appearance, FLTRP has been working with Bulgaria’s Iztok-Zapad (East-West) publishing house since 2016, and opened a Sofia office earlier this year.
FLTRP’s Zou Xiaobai told Xinhua,

We will introduce Bulgarian literature works into China, and hopefully we can see more of Chinese literature works on the Bulgarian market.

Do Bulgarians want Chinese books? Apparently so.

Bulgarian readers are hungry for Chinese books,

said Iztok-Zapad’s president, Luben Kozarev..
Zou added,

We came here to get Bulgarian readers to know us, and we want to know more about Bulgarian readers, publishers, bookshops, markets. The more, the better.

For which we can safely replace the name Bulgaria with almost any country in the world.
The Chinese venture is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative which is taking China across the globe in almost every sector, including publishing, as can be seen from the 2017 book fair calendar, where China has been a ubiquitous presence.
The rise and rise of China publishing, at home and abroad, has been one of the most remarkable features of the 2017 publishing year, and one I’ll be tracking closely here at TNPS in 2018, as the centre of publishing gravity shifts inexorably east.