Sun Hailin, president of the school council and Party chief presents the English edition of "Early Writings of Zhou Enlai," at the book launch held in Beijing on Thursday, Jan 8, 2015. Photo: China.org.cn
The English edition of "Early Writings of Zhou Enlai" was released in Beijing on Thursday, Jan 8, 2015 by the late Chinese premier′s alma mater, Tianjin Nankai High School, in the presence of Zhou′s family members, school alumni and his former colleagues.
The date marked the 39th anniversary of Premier Zhou′s death in 1976, and the book launch was meant to be part of memorial activities to commemorate Zhou.
The collection contains 39 essays written by Zhou during his school years at Nankai between 1913 and 1917. "These articles vividly depict Zhou Enlai′s basic growth trajectory from various angles and perspectives in terms of his aspirations, moral cultivation, friend-making, ambitions, interests and physical cultivation," said Sun Hailin, president of the school council and its Party chief, at the book launch ceremony.
While the book′s original edition in Chinese had been unveiled earlier, on Oct 17, 2014, Nankai hoped that by translating the book into English, the late statesman′s thoughts and spirit could be better understood by international readers.
Zhao Qizheng, the former minister of China′s State Council Information Office and himself an alumnus of Tianjin Nankai High School, said he always knew the corresponding English version of the book "would be published someday".
"Presenting an English version of essays that Zhou Enlai wrote at Tianjin Nankai High School will help readers at home and abroad read and understand Zhou Enlai, and will especially help young people become familiar with and learn from him," said Zhao Qizheng.
Zhao said the book should also be made available in other foreign languages, too, especially French, Russian and Japanese, since Zhou once studied or worked in those countries during his early years as a revolutionary. Zhou added that the recent tension between China and other countries was partly due to misunderstanding, and presenting the true China to the outside world could facilitate international harmony.
Zhao suggested that the book should also have a hardcover edition, which would raise the book′s prestige and meet the demands of international readers in higher social strata.
Both notions were shared by Zhou Mingwei, President of China International Publishing Group, the parent agency of the book′s publisher, New World Press.
"Publishing the English edition of Premier Zhou′s essays reflects CIPG′s gratitude to this late leader," said Zhou Mingwei, who noted that Premier Zhou personally sought to help establish the Beijing Review, China Construction, now known as China Today, and China Pictorial, three CIPG-published magazines focused on introducing China to the world.
Throughout his whole life, Zhou Enlai devoted himself to state affairs, and he spent his last 26 years of service as the premier of the People′s Republic of China.
Premier Zhou was among the best-known Chinese statesmen in the world. He was internationally recognized for the proposal of the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence," a standard of international relations that originally served to guide the China-India relationship in 1953. Zhou′s iconic handshake with the United States′ President Richard Nixon in 1972 was a key moment that signaled a thaw in China-U.S. diplomatic tensions.