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China draws on art to depoliticize Belt and Road plan

Free train rides for performers may help Beijing soften project's image

Hong Kong artist Frog King Kwok, right, will be among those creating works as part of a special train journey along the "Belt and Road" from Germany to China. (Photo by Jens Kastner)

DUISBURG, Germany -- In a park next to the River Rhine, Kwok Mang-ho, also known as Frog King Kwok, shakes his shaman gong against the backdrop of a sprawling abandoned industrial plant while workmen set up exhibition tents.

Promoted as China's first-ever performance artist, Kwok describes Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative to improve infrastructure links between China and Europe as bringing goodwill and prosperity to the many countries along the so-called New Silk Road.

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