Beijing honors first foreign "Model Workers"

09:05, April 21, 2010      

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A French doctor and a Japanese pharmaceutical engineer were among the first foreigners to receive the title "Model Worker" from the Beijing municipal government Tuesday.

Doctor Luc Picard, 73, is an expert on interventional neuroradiology, and a former president of World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology.

Since the 1970s, he has trained Chinese doctors and offered lectures and guidance to more than 10,000 medical workers, according to Xuanwu Hospital Capital Medical University, where he is an honorary professor.

Pharmaceutical engineer Kishi Akira, 56, has been a senior consultant at the Beijing Tide Pharmaceutical Co. since 2005. He helped the Chinese company develop a system to deliver drugs to the diseased region of a patient and improve the effectiveness of medicines, which has helped millions of Chinese patients alleviate pain.

"This is the first time Beijing gives this honor to foreigners. I am so happy to get this award and it inspires me to share more of my experience with my colleagues and Chinese young people," Akira told Xinhua.

"I like being in China. Spending my last 10 working years in China has been more meaningful to me than being in Japan," he said.

Altogether five foreigners had been nominated for this year's Beijing Model Worker title, which is awarded every five years.

"Honoring foreigners as model workers shows the openness of the city and its determination to attract talent from all over the world," said Huo Lianming, vice president of the Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions (BMFTU).

Foreigners have to work for more than three years in Beijing to be nominated. More than 100,000 foreigners are working in Beijing, according to the BMFTU.

Altogether 1,241 people in Beijing were given the award Tuesday.

"Model Worker" is an honor bestowed on people who have made a significant contribution to the city.

Ninety-four of the winners in Beijing were selected to compete for the "National Model Worker," one of the country's highest honors, the result of which would be revealed before May 1, International Labor Day, but the two foreigners were not among them.

China's State Council drafted a regulation in January that indicated foreigners in China could be eligible for the title of "National Model Worker," which was previously restricted to Chinese citizens.

According to the draft on commendations and awards, foreigners who have made remarkable contributions to China's modernization can be honored.

However, the State Council did not reveal when the draft would be tabled for approval.

Source: Xinhua


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