By Tom Bannister
A nationwide sports event has been launched that involves students aiming to complete a series of runs that equal the distance between the disputed Diaoyu islands and Chinese territory. They make up part of this year’s ‘Sunshine Sports‘ project, which has been running for several years and aims to improve the health of the nation’s children. The event is part of a greater government project called “Love the Motherland, Starting with Physical Exercise” （热爱祖国从体育锻炼开始）which was launched by the Ministry of Education. Xinhua reports that according to organisers: “Sports combined with patriotic elements help stimulate students’ passion for physical exercise”
According to Ministry of Education guidelines:
Junior school students will run 800-1000m, middle school students will run 1500m and high school students will run 2000m, The students’ total distances will respectively reach 140 km (the distance from Taiwan’s Pengjia Islet to the Diaoyu Islands), 190 km (from Keelung City, Taiwan, to the Diaoyu Islands) and 350 km (the distance from Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, to the Diaoyu Islands).