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Foreign Experts in China Conferred 'Friendship Award'

Fifty foreign experts working in China were granted this year's "Friendship Award" at a ceremony in Beijing Tuesday, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to China's economic and social progress.

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi, along with several other senior officials, presented the honor to the foreign experts from 19 countries.

Wu said that each year some 240,000 foreign experts come all the way to work in China and contributed to China's economic construction.

China welcomes more overseas friends to participate in its modernization drive and will promulgate and revise laws and regulations to protect the intellectual property rights of foreign experts and create better working and living conditions for them, the vice premier said.

Hans Grolimund, chief site representative of Alstom Power for the Three Gorges Project, and Peter Borger, President and CEO of Siemens Shanghai Mobile Communications Ltd., also spoke at the ceremony, expressing their willingness to promote friendship with China.

The "Friendship Award," initiated in 1991, is the supreme award the Chinese government confers annually to foreign experts for their outstanding contributions to China's economic and social progress.

The Chinese government presented the award to 50 foreign experts from 19 countries this year. So far, 716 foreign experts have been awarded the honor.

(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2003)

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