• "Hamburg to China" Run for a Cause

"Hamburg to China" Run for a Cause (Photo : Getty Images)

A German named Kai Markus Xiong is now on his way to China. He is running from Hamburg to Shanghai along the Silk Road to fight prejudice against China and to promote the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative.

Xiong’s journey through eight different countries from Germany to China will take around 235 days to complete. On the contrary, a direct flight from Hamburg to Shanghai would take just 12 hours.

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On March 12, 44-year-old Xiong started out his 12,000 km expedition. Running through central Poland, he is currently 149,193 steps in.

The fitness enthusiast still intends to cross Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan as he heads his way to China. His run can be followed through his website, runmysilkroad.com.

Even though Xiong grew up in Bavaria, he has grown to love and respect China because of his grandparents. He has already been to the country many times.

The runner acclaims traditional Chinese medicine. According to him, TCM was able to heal his aching shoulder, which, he said, Western medicines failed to do so.

China’s OBOR Initiative seems to be a part of Xiong’s inspiration to take the journey. Proposed by China in 2013, the initiative aims to become a trade and infrastructure network which will link Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.

"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 said.

According to Xiong, he will be using Chinese products during his journey to help other people change their thinking and outdated perceptions of China. His aim is to "run to break down prejudice," particularly to show that Chinese products can stand up to wear and tear.

Xiong hopes that his journey will help wipe prejudice against China and encourage other countries to join in the OBOR Initiative. Ultimately, he hopes to kindle Germany-China ties.