"Top Ten Int'l Friends of China" Awarded
    2009-12-08 18:29:38     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao

Wang Taihua (Right), minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, presents a certificate to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom of Thailand during the awards ceremony for the online selection event "Chinese Connection - Top Ten International Friends of China" at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. [Photo:CRIENGLISH.com]

Special: China's Top Ten Int'l Friends

The awards ceremony for the online election event "Chinese Connection - Top Ten International Friends of China" was held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Tuesday.

Prize winners Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom of Thailand and Morihiko Hiramatsu from Japan, as well as the relatives or representatives of the other award winners, were presented with commemorative badges and certificates at the ceremony.

Wang Taihua, minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, Liu Yanguo, deputy general director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, and Wang Gengnian, director-general of China Radio International, attended the ceremony.

Liu Yanguo delivered a speech on behalf of the hosts of the event. In his speech, Liu expressed Chinese people's appreciation to the international friends for their contributions to promoting friendship between China and other countries.

"Through this event, we want to tell the world that Chinese people will always remember these international friends for their support and contribution to the country's national liberation process and to its national construction during a time of peace. Their great achievements have been imprinted in Chinese history."

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn addressed the attendants on behalf of all the awardees.

Speaking in Chinese, the Princess thanked the hosts and all Chinese people for their hospitality and highlighted the importance of international friendship.

"A real friend is more valuable than any treasure in the world. Friendship is the driving force for the development of peace. I firmly believe that if only people from different countries live harmoniously, and treat each other as friend, can we realize our hope of creating a more peaceful, graceful and civilized world."

The online selection event, initiated by China Radio International and carried out on its website, CRI Online, was the first such activity ever held by the People's Republic of China since its founding in 1949. More than 56 million votes were cast during 40 days of online polling.

Earlier, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top advisory body, met with the award winners or their relatives or representatives, in a strong demonstration of support for the event and awards ceremony. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, he expressed heartfelt thanks to all the international friends who have helped China.

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