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King Abdulaziz Library in Beijing: Contemporary Silk Road | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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King Abdulaziz Public Library

Riyadh- The establishment of a new branch of the King Abdulaziz Library at the Beijing University represents a new contemporary Silk Road for China which used to be a channel of cultural and scientific communication between Arabs and Chinese for more than 5,000 years.

The library in Beijing transfers knowledge with the newest techniques and opens perspectives of cultural and practical communication, by providing knowledge sources for Chinese researchers, students, and people interested in the Arab Islamic civilization, and by supporting programs aiming to teach the Arabic language in Chinese universities.

Cultural ties between the King Abdulaziz Library and Beijing University started in 1998 when the Kingdom supplied the library of Beijing and the Arab language institute at the university with all the Arabic books and references required to enhance the institute’s capacity to accomplish its missions in teaching the Arabic language and literature, along with enriching the library with information on this language, to promote Chinese-Arabic cultural ties.

The new facility at Beijing University aims to help the most populous nation in the world to become familiar with the richness of the Arab Islamic culture, by providing information sources on the Arab Islamic civilization’s contributions, special characteristics, and role in enriching humanity.

This branch also plays an important role in informing the Chinese people on Saudi Arabia’s history and culture and the development it has witnessed in different fields, along with its important position as the hub for Islam and the land of the two Holy Mosques.

This branch of the library has been highly important because the university is the oldest in China and the top national university in the country. The Beijing University provides important curricula in literature and sciences in six different colleges and 42 departments for 15,000 undergraduates and 22,000 students of higher education. The library of the university is also considered the biggest in Asia; it comprises 11 million books, scientific references, and information sources.

The King Abdulaziz Library branch at the Beijing University is a non-profitable institution which was founded based on the friendship and cooperation ties between Saudi Arabia and China, aiming to enhance knowledge-based ties and cultural exchange between both people.

The branch in China is also assigned to develop an e-portal featuring the library’s content on the internet, and to organize specialized scientific and cultural programs in which partake Chinese and Arab researchers. It is noteworthy that the development of the e-portal has already kicked off in cooperation with the national Chinese libraries.