How dull to have a gun and not shoot. Guns should be fired.

Fu Yuli / Nicky Harman

The Istanbul Book Fair, Xinjiang Connections and Wang Gang's "English"

When Chinese author Wang Gang brought a smile to the faces of his Turkish listeners as he recounted how a musician back in Xinjiang had sung him a tune dubbed “Istanbul” just a few days ago, it’s unlikely few in the audience recognized the irony.

After all, the theme of China’s presence at the 2013 Istanbul Book Fair is Ipak Yolu—Yeni Sayfa (The Silk Road—A New Page). One major traditional Silk Road route began in Chang’an, today’s Xi’an, and ended in Constantinople, today’s Istanbul, skirting Xinjiang's deadly Taklamakan Desert along the way.


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