Professor Patrict A. Randolph Jr is proud of a decision he made 11 years ago: to teach real-estate law at Peking University.
"The thing in my life that has made the most difference has been my work in China, because here, I am unusual," Randolph, 61, said yesterday. "When I first came here in 1994 nobody knew very much about real-estate law, but I did."
Before coming to China, Randolph taught at the University of Missouri for more than 30 years.
Apart from teaching in Beijing, he has arranged for American law professionals to lecture in China.
His contribution was recognized yesterday by the Beijing municipal government, which presented him with the "Great Wall Friendship Award 2005." Fourteen other foreign experts working in the city also won the award.
Beijing launched the annual award in 1999 to honor 10-20 foreign experts each year who make significant contributions to the development of the city; and so far, 96 foreigners have won the award.
The 15 foreign experts chosen this year come from eight countries: the United States, Germany, Italy, Canada, Greece, the Republic of Korea, Cuba and the United Kingdom.
Award winner Professor Rhoda Perozzi, 58, an American who has been with Beijing University of Technology's ecology department for three and a half years, was described by Ji Xiaozhe, one of her colleagues, as "extremely devoted."
Every semester, she carries two huge and heavy trunks of books borrowed from American libraries to Chinese teachers and students and takes them back at the end of the semester.
"She devotes almost all her time to helping students and colleagues. She invites her students home to enjoy every American festival," Ji said. "She has touched every student in our school."
Vice-mayor Zhang Mao said at the award ceremony held at Beijing Hotel last night: "The city's development and hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games need the support of the international community.
"We sincerely welcome more international experts and friends to come and join Beijing's development in all fields."
Beijing has about 7,000 foreign experts working in diverse fields such as education, culture, the arts, the press, medicine and business, said Zhang.
Foreign experts are specialists such as researchers, teachers or senior managers, who are invited to promote the country's economic growth and social development.
(Shenzhen Daily January 13, 2006)