From over 200,000 foreigners working in China, 49 foreign experts were chosen to receive the Friendship Award on Friday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The award, the highest honor that the Chinese government can confer on foreigners, is given annually to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China's economic and social progress. The Chinese government has presented the award to 899 foreign experts from 57 countries since it was established 1991.
"I am very honored to win the award," said Peter Albert Abplanalp, 63, President of the University of Applied Science, Northwestern Switzerland
Abplanalp helped to teach strategic management and human resources management at Lanzhou University, Lanzhou Science and Engineering University and the Party School of the Provincial Party Committee from 1996. He has helped to run training classes for officials in Gansu on the international economy and trade, environmental protection, the WTO and more.
Thanks to his efforts, a training program agreement between Gansu province and the Swiss was signed. The training programs were very popular with the students because of the excellent teachers and good facilities.
Abplanalp came to China for the first time in 1994 to teach in Beijing with the Sino-Switzerland program. He was then invited to Gansu, a province in the northwest of China.
When asked what attracted him to this province, Abplanalp told People's Daily Online that he was more interested in rural China than urban China, because urban China is much like the United States and Europe.
With his suggestion, an agreement on mid to long-term training for an MPA and MBA program was signed by the Swiss and Chinese.
"I was deeply impressed by my students who are sincere, friendly and so eager to learn. They are open and frank," Abplanalp said.
He loves China and Chinese culture. He has organized five groups to visit China since 2002. These activities helped Swiss people understand China.
"The perception of China is very strange to European people. They know about China from western newspapers, but they are not well informed and often have the wrong idea about China.
Abplanalp continued to be elected as the training expert of the 3rd Sino-Switzerland cooperative program by the Switzerland ministry of foreign affairs.
By People's Daily Online