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Ambassador's wife awarded French cultural badge
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The wife of the Chinese ambassador to France, Qian Wei, was awarded Tuesday the French Literature and Art Commander Badge for her dedication to promoting cultural exchanges between China and France.

Qian received the medal from Senator and former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin at a special ceremony at the French Senate, which was also attended by Qian's husband, Ambassador Zhao Jinjun, and President of the Senate Christian Poncelet.

The Commander Badge is the highest of cultural awards, which also include Officer and Chevalier badges.

"Diversity in culture" is advocated both in China and France and recent years have witnessed intensified cultural exchanges between the two countries, Raffarin said.

The former prime minister also praised the Year of Chinese Culture in France and the Year of French Culture in China in 2004 and 2005 respectively, which he said have promoted friendship and mutual understanding between the two peoples.

The French Literature and Art Badge was initiated by the French Cultural Ministry in 1957 to mark special contributions in the field of art and literature.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2008)

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