Farmer Motorcycles across World for Peace
    2010-11-07 18:11:13     Xinhua      Web Editor: Guo Jing
A Chinese farmer who is taking an around-the-world motorbike tour with his teenage daughter says he is doing it for the sake of promoting peace.

"My main mission is to call for and promote world peace. I am persistently travelling with my motorcycle and I see the whole world is opening a way for me," Chen Liangquan told Xinhua in Stockholm on Saturday before leaving for Norway.

"I feel people around the world including those in Afghanistan love peace. I have motorcycled across seven countries which are in war and conflict. I can feel people in those countries desperately long for peace," Chen said.

"I love to contribute more to world peace with my world travel," he said, adding that he has collected signatures of some 200,000 people along the way using various languages calling for peace.

Chen, who began his world tour in 2003, plans to visit a total of 160 countries before 2013. Sweden is the 57th country he has visited. The tour has already taken him to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as the whole African continent.

He was born in 1962 in a small village in Xuancheng of China's eastern province of Anhui. After graduating from high school, he often rode a bicycle travelling from village to village, selling dates, rice and pig feed, which helped hone his riding skills, earning the nickname "the King of the Bike."

But he had been planning something big for a long time. Back in the school days, Chen had always dreamed of travelling around China like legendary ancient Chinese geographer and writer Xu Xiake.

On Aug. 1, 1986, he started his round-China tour on a bicycle on his own. To cover his travel expenses, he performed self-choreographed bicycle stunts all along the way.

In December 1999, Chen had travelled across all the cities in China's mainland.

Based on his travel experience in China, he wrote books, held photo exhibitions and gave lectures. Then he developed a much more ambitious idea -- an around-the-world motorbike tour -- for peace.

"Peace is the most important thing in this world. Without peace, one cannot live a healthy and free life," Chen said.

"My goal is to establish a peace fund and establish peace schools in the future, I really hope the war in Afghanistan could end and Jerusalem become a place without exchange of fires," Chen said.

In August, when Chen set off again, he was no longer lonely and had good company. His daughter Chen Youyou, who completed her studies at the famous Shaolin Gongfu School, joined him on the tour.

"For myself, there was no problem sometimes staving off my hunger with wild fruits in the forests and sleeping rough in the open. It would be enough for me to only sleep one hour during lunchtime. But currently with my daughter, I must take good care of her to have enough to eat and a room to sleep in at least," Chen said.


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