China on Thursday gave the most complete versions of the Tibetan epic King Gesar as a present to the National Library of Pakistan during a ceremony held in Tsinghua University, Beijing.

With 130 million characters in 300 hardcover volumes, the collection is generally considered the world's longest folk epic that tells the story of how an 11th century Tibetan demigod king conquered his enemies and helped ordinary people.

The voluminous set of books was published in July by the Sichuan Publishing Group (SCPG), also the donator.

"Pakistani people can have a glimpse of Tibet through this epic. It shows our historical link with China," said Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, ambassador of Pakistan to China.

Li Xiguang, a Tsinghua professor and director of the university's Center for Pakistan Culture and Communication, said the presentation of the books is a good way to promote mutual learning of the two cultures.

"It is like finding two seemingly different civilizations on two sides of a great mountain range and linking them together," Li said.

Many elderly people living in Gilgit Baltistan, a junction of the Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountain ranges in northern Pakistan, still chant the legendary Tibetan epic today, said Luo Yong, chairman of SCPG.

Luo also noted that SCPG will further step up efforts to enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and Pakistan through literature.