Noted Chinese author Jia Pingwa was recently conferred with a medal granting him the title of Knight of Arts and Literature by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
This highest honorary title in France is usually bestowed on people who have made outstanding contributions to the development of literature and arts in various parts of the world.
French ambassador to China Jean-Pierre Lafon said in a letter of congratulations to Jia that his works have exerted great influence in France.
Jia said in reply that he felt it a great honor to obtain the prize as French literature is the noblest in the world.
Jia, 51, is one of the most prolific and influential authors in China. He has written novels with more than 10 million Chinese characters. Two of his novels and two selected works of short stories have been translated into French.
(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2003)