Lord Michael and Lady Xuelin Bates are walking 250km in China to raise funds for a new China-UK Vocational Scholarship for students from the poorest areas



No 13: 40 Year Profile–The Wenzhou Economic Model

Posted on October 16, 2018

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” The Wealth of Nations (1776) by Adam Smith (Scottish economist and widely regarded as the father of Modern Economics) Back in Hangzhou Mr Jin Xiangzuo, a businessman […]



No 12–40 Years Profile: A Love Story

Posted on October 7, 2018

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” Desmond Tutu (Former Archbishop of Cape Town and campaigner against apartheid regime in South Africa. Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1984) Sitting in a restaurant back in Xuelin’s beautiful home city of Hangzhou with Xuelin, her mother (Mrs Wu) […]



The British ‘Noble Spirit’

Posted on October 6, 2018

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post (American author famous for writing about etiquette) On our return to Hangzhou from ‘Walk Your Dream’ Xuelin and I received a request for an interview on our walk […]



No 11–40 Years Profile–Optimism

Posted on October 5, 2018

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty” Sir Winston Churchill (British prime minister 1940 to 1945 and 1951 to 1955) By instinct I am an optimist. I am therefore drawn to optimistic people. Before leaving Beijing Mr Hu had arranged an evening for us to meet together with […]



No 10–40 Year Profile: The Long March and The Old Summer Palace

Posted on October 4, 2018

“Everyone has a story. It might or might not be a love story. It could be a story of dreams, friendship, hope, survival or even death. And every story is worth telling. But more than that, it’s worth living.”  Savi Sharma (A 25 year old young female writer from Surat in India who gave up […]



No 9–40 Year Profile: The Builder of Dreams

Posted on October 3, 2018

“Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.” Senator Robert ‘Bobby’ Kennedy (American politician) Mr Yao looks like you would expect a bright young university professor to look. He is at comfortable around students and passionate about education. But Mr Yao is […]



Walking Diaries–Day 11 (Final)–Olympic Welcome

Posted on

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it requires an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort. “ (Jesse Owens–American athlete and four-time Olympic Gold Medallist at the 1936 Berlin Games) I love sport and especially the Olympics and Paralympics. It is the stories of struggle over adversity […]



No 8–40 Year Profile–‘Holding Half the Sky’

Posted on October 1, 2018

‘I do not wish for women to have power over men; but over themselves’ Mary Shelley (English novelist best known for her book ‘Frankenstein’) There are very few examples of successful economies in which women and men are not given equal opportunity education and in the work place. I was reminded of this fact in […]



Walking Diaries–Day 10–Birdsong

Posted on

‘Birds don’t sing because they have the answer, they sing because they have a song’ (Chinese Proverb) We had arrived in Caofeidian the day before but it would still take us a good days walk of 24km to make it to the new education city rising from the wetlands bordering the Yellow Sea. Our route […]



Walking Diaries–Day 9–Men of Steel

Posted on September 28, 2018

‘The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.’  Thomas Edison (America’s greatest inventor–phonograph, light bulb, movie camera, microphone, power lines etc.) We were working our way down the busy S263 from Tangshan to Caofeidian. I was more nervous than when I […]



No7–40 Year Profile–The Fish Farmer of Ruan Nan County

Posted on

“I wasn’t lucky. I worked hard to achieve the goals I set for myself.” (Li Ka Shing Hong Kong business magnate and philanthropist) The sight of 50,000 fish feeding from a single source is quite something to see. We watched from the roadside the fish thrashing in the water and were drawn in to see […]



Walking Diaries–Day 8–The Wisdom of Crowds

Posted on September 27, 2018

“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” Harper Lee ( Prize winning American novelist best known for her book ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’) Each year, following our walk, Zhejiang UK Association organise a welcome home/fundraising dinner. Xuelin is Chairman of the Association and they have been our most generous and loyal supporters. I […]