The record-breaking classic The Governance of China by noted author and Chinese President Xi Jinping is currently taking Britain by storm, with British politicians and China experts flocking to the London Book Fair to sing the praises of this masterpiece for our time.
According to Xinhua, Xi’s book on governance has “taken the spotlight” at the London Book Fair and has been greeted by numerous influential figures with effusive praise that might even make Mark Zuckerberg blush.
Former British Deputy Prime Minister Geoffrey Howe presented the book, and while he has yet to actually read it, he said that it “sounds absolutely marvelous.” According to Xinhua, he went on to celebrate China-Britain relations by telling the audience, “We are together. Let us remain so, and let us love the book” (it’s unclear whether this cult-like phrasing was just the result of shoddy translation by Xinhua).
John Prescott, another former British deputy prime minister, was also on hand to give his book report and he seems to have actually skimmed over a few of the pages. He called the book “essential reading” for those interested in China and global affairs and went on from there:
This book is obviously an important step towards providing even a deeper insight into the concepts and principles of governance in the new leadership of China. It’s another important step towards the understanding between our countries, but it’s much more than that. It’s on a global level.
British sociologist and emeritus professor Martin Albrow, who fortunately is no longer teaching, called the book a “wonderful publication,” and said that if he was still teaching “I would say every student in the social sciences in the rest of the world should read this book.”
“I hope it will make a big impact in the world,” the expert concluded.
Well, wish granted! The book has now “sold” more than 4 million copies worldwide, and 400,000 of those were even outside of China! Xinhua is happy to report that this gives Xi the much sought-after record for “overseas sales of books written by Chinese leadership since the country’s reform and opening up.” It’s unclear what leader Xi replaced for that coveted top spot, but we bet he’s super angry.
Unfortunately, with the release this month of Xi’s “Little Red App” there is no longer any reason to buy a physical copy of the book, except to try and impress visitors.
The book contains speeches, answers to questions and instructions that Xi has given from 2012 to 2014. If you don’t have the time or will power to put yourself through the book’s 515 pages, take a look at this handy quiz from Foreign Policy.
On Amazon, the paperback version of Xi’s seminal work currently has a 4.5 stars rating with 14 reviews. One reviewer just wishes he could give it a 11 out of 10:
70% cutting political insight, 30% wit, The Governance of China is a must read for Old China Hands and Tim Budong fobs alike. It’s a gripping page-turner the likes of which we haven’t seen from China’s leaders since The Little Red Book, and I for one look forward to the sequel The Governance of the World.
Xi is likely to have a hard time catching up to the current record holder for “overseas sales of books written by Chinese leaders before the country’s reform and opening up.” More than 1 billion copies of Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book were printed and the work gained many overseas readers.
by Alex Linder
[Images via Xinhua]