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China honors outstanding foreign experts

BEIJING, Sept. 29 — The Chinese government on Thursday honored 50 foreign experts from 21 countries for their outstanding contributions to China's development.

"Foreign experts have contributed a lot to China's social-economic development," Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang said at the annual "Friendship Award" ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People.

Zhang said foreign experts are "close friends of Chinese, bridges between China and the outside world, and an important force in China's modernization drive."

Congratulating all honored experts, Zhang said China will adopt more open policies to attract overseas talent and boost international cooperation.

"We will improve relevant laws and regulations, protect intellectual property rights, perfect our services and provide better working and living conditions for foreign experts," Zhang said.

Further, Zhang said China will focus on attracting more and higher-level foreign experts during the 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015), a period "key to China's reform and opening-up, economic restructuring and its endeavors to build a well-off society."

The foreign experts were recognized for their work in agriculture, energy and environment protection, education, science and technology, health care, culture and sports sectors.

The "Friendship Award" is an annual award issued by the Chinese government to honor outstanding foreign experts in China. A total of 1,199 foreign experts from 62 countries have been awarded the honor since it was started in 1991. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/utb

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