Monday, September 18, 2006

China Plans New Bookstores

Last week, China came out with some interesting news. On Thursday, they announced plans to establish 200,000 bookstores in rural areas over the next five years.

It might be difficult for most Americans to imagine a country where the government controls the media from TV to newspapers. But they do in China. And now, as part of their next Five Year Plan, they’ve announced a national cultural development program, including providing rural bookstores.

The People’s Daily Online said each bookstore will have at least 1,000 books, 30 magazines and periodicals and some audiovisual products and will cost about 20,000 yuan. In case you’re wondering how many people these 200,000 bookstores will serve – about 900 million people.

The bookstores will be sponsored by the government and also open to public donation. I wondered what exactly what was meant by “public donation.” The public can donate books? The public can donate or build their own bookstores? Couldn’t find the answer, though, since three different articles in three different papers, China Daily, People’s Daily Online, and China View, all told exactly the same story, pretty much word for word. Even the Middle East North African Financial Network printed the same exact press release.

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