The Chinese government conferred the annual Friendship Award to 50 foreign experts Saturday, commending their outstanding contribution to China's economic and social development.
Vice-Premier Qian Qichen, along with several other senior officials, presented the certificates to the foreign experts, who are from 17 countries throughout the world.
Qian told guests at the ceremony that China has made tremendous achievements in every field in the past two decades, and these accomplishments should also be attributed to the diligent work of the foreign experts, whose imprints can be found all over China's vast land.
Qian said the Chinese people are greatly impressed by their devotion and will not forget their contributions.
China's stability and prosperity are of great significance to the world peace and development, Qian said, adding that China's further modernization and the attainment of its development goals in the new century calls for the understanding and support from people all over the world, and China hopes to carry out exchanges and cooperation with all nations.
With accession to the World Trade Organization imminent, China will open even wider to the world, further enhance international exchanges and cooperation, introduce more foreign intellectual resources and learn from all the civilizations of mankind, he said.
As a developing country, China will further improve the policies concerning foreign experts, strive to provide better working and living conditions for them, and protect their intellectual property rights and other legitimate rights so that they can bring their capabilities into full play.
Oleg. N. Ulenikov, a Russian expert working in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Stephen T. Meldrum, a Briton working for China Ping An Insurance Company, also addressed the group, expressing their readiness to promote friendship between foreign countries and China.
(Xinhua News Agency 09/29/2001)