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Book of Xi's anecdotes a best-seller

By Li Xiaokun | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-06-16 07:54

Volume presents stories president has used in speeches and articles

A new look at President Xi Jinping's style and thoughts about China will open a fresh window on his leadership as a book of anecdotes and sayings he has mentioned in his speeches and articles is already gaining widespread interest from bookstores and the public just days after publication.

The book, Anecdotes and Sayings of Xi Jinping, is also winning over literary critics with its informal look on the challenges facing 21st century leadership.

"President Xi Jinping's public speaking style has two characteristics - it is highly persuasive and has a strong cultural appeal. Reading this book, I'm reminded of his unique charisma," said Kang Zhen, a professor at the School of Chinese Language and Literature of Beijing Normal University.

The book, with 109 stories, was edited by the Editorial Department of People's Daily and was published on June 8.

To facilitate understanding, editors wrote a short article after every story with the background and the context in which Xi used it.

The book ranked second on Friday's daily best-seller list in the category of political and military books on Jingdong, one of China's largest online retailers.

Lu Xinning, deputy editor-in-chief of People's Daily, said bookstores are waiting in line at the printing plant for the book.

Li Chunsheng, deputy chief of People's Publishing House, the publisher of the book, said though it has been just one week since the book's issue, some foreign publishers have contacted them about overseas circulation.

Kang said he was especially impressed by the way Xi told the story Constant Dripping Wears Away a Stone in an article written in 1990, when Xi was secretary of the Ningde Prefectural Committee of the Communist Party of China in Fujian province, a place known for poverty at that time.

In the article, Xi said he witnessed a stone worn away by dripping during his young adulthood. "Applied to humankind, it is the perfect embodiment of the personality that rises to fight, one after another, and to sacrifice bravely," Xi wrote.

He said in the long process of developing a poor region, people should not seek their own high station but to strive for drips of progress and be willing to become a steppingstone to final success.

"Like almost every child, I was told about the story of perseverance," Kang said. "But Xi told the story in a creative way, and I think that is because he was already thinking about local development from an overall viewpoint at that time." Kang added that the book includes many examples of Xi turning old stories into something new.

Yang Zhenwu, president of People's Daily, wrote in the book's preface that it is a tradition and outstanding ability of leaders of the Communist Party of China to tell stories. He cited Chairman Mao Zedong, one of the founders of the Party, as an example.

"One story beats a dozen arguments," Yang wrote. "Theory is gray, but stories are colorful."

The purpose of the book is to help readers understand the way to manage state affairs, and to write new stories of China together, Yang wrote.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

(China Daily USA 06/16/2017 page1)

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