A senior politician from the United Kingdom, Michael Walton Bates, has embarked on a 1,500 kilometer walk in China to mark the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange and the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.
The walk is also aimed at raising funds for the Red Cross Society of China.
CRI’s Niu Honglin reports.
Michael Walton Bates, a Member of the UK House of Lords and Government Minister in the Home Office, kicked off the walk at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Monday.
It will take Bates 64 days to cover a distance of 1,500 kilometers from Beijing to Hangzhou, the capital city of east China’s Zhejiang province.
Hangzhou is also the hometown of Bates’ wife Xuelin, Chairman of a charity called The Walk for Peace Foundation.
Bates plans to visit historical sites of the War of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.
“For the past four years, I have been doing walks in different parts of the world. And I have walked through 18 countries so far. So Walking is the way I express my desire to build a peaceful and better world. “
Between 2011 and 2012, Bates embarked on a ‘Walk for Truce’ from Olympia in Greece to London to raise awareness of the Olympic truce. He walked through 15 European countries, covering a distance of 4,800 kilometers.
In 2013, Bates walked 830 kilometers from London to Derry, Northern Ireland to raise funds for children in Syria.
Last year he completed a 1,000 kilometer walk between the United Kingdom and Germany to mark the 100th anniversary of WWI.
During his two-month walk in China, Bates will also participate in cultural events marking the first China-UK Year of Cultural Exchange.
Pu Tong, an official with China’s ministry of culture says both sides have displayed creativity in organizing those events.
“It is interesting that both sides simultaneously set creativity as the highlight of their own season of cultural activities. Both China and the UK have rich cultural heritages. In addition to retaining their cultures and traditions, the two countries have their own ways to innovate and promote cultures. “
As the season of Chinese cultural activities will begin in Britain next month, China’s top artists and troupes, such as young pianist Lang Lang, National Theatre of China, and China National Peking Opera Company, will stage their performances from August to December.
For CRI, I am Niu Honglin
Source: China Radio International