Ahead of this year’s London Book Fair in March, media reported a rise in interest in translat
ed works among British readers, with a special mention of the wider acceptance of transl
ated Chinese titles last year. For translator Anna Holmwood, this signals the arrival of a new era.
“This is a big moment for Chinese fiction abroad,” says Holmwood, who has translated Chinese literature for almost a decade.
Her translation work, Legends of the Condor Heroes: A Hero Born, a fa
ntasy novel written by Jin Yong (Louis Cha Leung-yung), and Liu Cixin’s science-fictio
n book, The Three Body Problem, are shown in a Nielsen report as examples of t
wo of the most popular Chinese fiction works in Britain in 2018. The Guardian adds the two novels “sold strongly”.
“Languages in growing demand include Chinese and Arabic, along
side Icelandic and Polish,” according to the Nielsen report that cites trends from 2014 to 2018.
coordinated development plan outline in April 2015, and published the final plan in 2016. And on April 1, 2017, the central authorities an
nounced the plan to develop Xiongan New Area in Hebei province as part of the larger Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei development plan.
Between 2014 and 2017, Beijing shifted or shut down many of its non-capital functions, inc
luding 594 special markets and 1,992 general manufacturing enterprises, with 3,860 of its industrial units being re
located to Hebei. As a result, Beijing’s permanent resident population declined by 22,000 in 2017 and 165,000 in 2018.
Tianjin and Hebei have absorbed many of Beijing’s non-capital functions b
y jointly building a series of platforms, and Xiongan New Area has become the center for m
any of those relocated functions. As such, Xiongan has become one of the “two wings” of Beijing, together with Tongzhou.
The transport connectivity in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has greatly improved with opening of the expressway from Lai
shui in Hebei to Beijing in 2014, and the extension of the Beijing-Tianjin and Tianjin-Baoding intercity high-speed railw
ays and the Zhangjiakou-Tangshan railway in 2015. Along with these, Beijing’s outer-ring road
A constant temperature of 27 degrees, a water bowl that never freezes, a comfy mat, and no dogs allowed.
Those are the amenities for felines in a neighborhood in Beijing’s Sh
unyi district, where stray cats can loll around contentedly all winter, nibbling food and sipp
ing water, safe from the weather and provided with love through an artificial intelligence platform. It is purrfection.
Wan Xi, an engineer at Baidu Brain－the open AI platform of Baidu－had the idea of build
ing a smart shelter for strays when he found a kitten huddled on his car tire in the winter of 2017.
Winter is rough for stray animals, as they require extra calories to stay warm. Only around 40 perc
ent of stray cats find enough food and shelter to make it through the harsh temperatures.
Although volunteers offer water, food and even heating pads to stray animals, Beijing’s freezin
g winters can turn a bowl of water into ice before a cat can drink. Many stray cats don’t live more than two ye
ars. Those that are not neutered or spayed face more health problems and spawn more homeless cats.