A “Dongyang Son-in-Law” Walks through Jinhua
On August 31, drizzling, Lord Michael Bates, a “Dongyang son-in-law” from Britain, and Li Xuelin, Lady Bates, completed the first 200-kilometer journey of “Walk of Friendship” (a charity hike) in the historical village of Putang, which was two-fifths of the whole journey.
This is the 13th day of the “Walk of Friendship,” and the 6th day since the couple entered into Jinhua. On August 19, the couple set off from Hangzhou, and they are expected to walk 500 km to Wenzhou in a month. They will raise money for charity and donate it to disabled and underprivileged children as well as related welfare agencies.
This is their third charity hike in China. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Fascist War in July 2015, Bates launched a charity hike called “Walk for Peace,” which started at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and ended in Hangzhou, with a total journey of about 1700 km. The money raised along the way was donated to several welfare projects through the Red Cross Society of China.
Bates plans to make a documentary called “Zhijiang Stories” based on their experience hiking near the Zhijiang River, with the aim to make more people learn about Chinese culture, especially the economic development and culture of Zhejiang.
Lord Bates once served as the vice chairman of the Conservative Party in the UK and the deputy speaker of the House of Lords in the UK. It was from 2011 that he started to organize activities like “Walk of Friendship” and “Walk for Peace,” which strengthened the friendship among people of all countries and promoted world peace.
Though this 500-kilometer hike in Zhejiang is a short one compared to his other hikes, Bates remarked that he has learned a lot during this trip. On the 6th day of the hike, he walked into Yiwu from Anhua Toen in Zhuji. He then visited Yiwu Small Commodity City, the China Railway Express port, Hengdian World Studios, and Yushan Ancient Tea Plantation in Pan'an.
He said that “the blend of tradition and modernity” can best express his impression of Jinhua. He also remarked that he was shocked by the huge scale of Yiwu Small Commodity City, which has 76,000 shops, and Yiwu's development pattern of “Buy Local, Sell Global.” In addition, the well-preserved tea plantation in Pan'an also amazed him.
In Dongyang, Bates found that he has a special connection with Jinhua. “My mother-in-law was born in Wuliang Village, of the Liushi Subdistrict in Dongyang, so I am not only the son-in-law of China and of Zhejiang, but also the son-in-law of Dongyang.” Bates said, “Though I come to Dongyang for the first time, I feel a strong sense of belonging here.” (By Wang Lei, translated by Shen Yingying, edited by Mariam Ayad)