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Of Interest

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"Friendship Award"

China honours ITER Director-General

Last week, ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot was one of 100 foreign experts from 31 countries to be awarded China's Government Friendship Award.

During the ceremony Premier Li Keqiang is flanked on one side by ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot (to his left), and on the other by Nobel Laureate James J. Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago (to his right). (Click to view larger version...)
During the ceremony Premier Li Keqiang is flanked on one side by ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot (to his left), and on the other by Nobel Laureate James J. Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago (to his right).
The Government Friendship Award is the highest award granted by the People's Republic of China to foreigners who have made "outstanding contributions to the country's economic and social progress."

On 30 September—one day ahead of China's 70th National Day—100 laureates from 31 countries gathered with their families in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Premier Li Keqiang congratulated the awardees, thanking them for their contributions to "promoting China's modernization drive, promoting friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and foreign countries." The meeting was also attended by vice premiers Han Zheng and Liu He and State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Premier Li congratulates each of the winners individually. (Bernard Bigot stands in the very centre of the image.) (Click to view larger version...)
Premier Li congratulates each of the winners individually. (Bernard Bigot stands in the very centre of the image.)
"In 2018, Chinese parents sent 660,000 of their children to study abroad—and more and more foreign students are also studying in China. This two-way exchange creates a bridge for international cooperation in future decades," said Director-General Bigot in his acceptance speech. "It is therefore natural that more and more Chinese scientists and engineers are working in large international projects—including the ITER research project in France which I am proud to lead ..."


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