A German man is currently headed to China the old-fashioned way, by running.
Kai Markus Xiong estimates that his journey through eight different countries from Hamburg to Shanghai will take him 235 days to complete. A direct commercial flight between the two cities takes just 12 hours.
The 44-year-old fitness enthusiast set off on his 12,000 km journey on March 12th. He’s currently 149,193 steps in, running through central Poland. He still plans to pass through Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan on his way to China. You can follow his journey on his website, runmysilkroad.com.
— runmysilkroad.com (@junki72) March 21, 2017
Despite growing up in Bavaria, Xiong has developed a love and respect for China thanks to his grandparents, and has visited the country many times. He even credits traditional Chinese medicine with curing his shoulder pain which Western medicines were unable to help. His journey also appears to be partly inspired by China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.
“China is trying to become better and better. Now the new ‘one road one belt’ and ‘made in China 2025′ policy really fit my way of thinking,” he writes.
In order to help change others’ thinking and outdated perceptions about China, Xiong says that he will be using Chinese products during his journey to show that they can stand up to the wear and tear. With his “run to break down prejudice” he hopes to bring Germany and China closer together.
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I hope my footprints can connect Germany and China, and open a door for the world to know China,” he added.
— runmysilkroad.com (@junki72) March 12, 2017
Hey, seems like a better idea than gifting a Karl Marx statue.
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