The French Ambassador to China bestowed medals on Professor Zhiming Yuan and Professor Zhengli Shi in Wuhan Institute of Virology
On June 16th 2016, Mr. Maurice GOUTRDAULT, the French Ambassador to China, representing the President of France, bestowed the medal of Knight of the National Order of Merit (French: Chevalier de L’Ordre National du Mérite) and the medal of Knight of the Order of Academic Palms (French: Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques) on Professor Zhiming Yuan and Professor Zhengli Shi respectively in Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
On the award ceremony, Mr. Maurice GOUTRDAULT, on behalf of the French government, conveyed his warm congratulations and appreciation for the prominent contributions made by Prof. Yuan, Prof. Shi and their team in promoting the Sino-French cooperation on prevention and control of emerging diseases and in building the Sino-French Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory (Wuhan P4 Laboratory). In recent years, focusing on the construction of Wuhan P4 Laboratory, China and France have collaborated closely and achieved rather good effects in biosafety laws, regulations and standard construction, prevention and control of emerging diseases and personal training. Mr. Goutrdault highly commended the positive contributions made by China in Sino-French cooperation project. In future, the French Government will actively coordinate the succeeding activities like operating maintenance and personal training in Wuhan P4 Laboratory, so as to improve the broader and deeper cooperation and exchanges in public health between our two nations.
In the addresses, Prof. Yuan appreciated the honor conferred by the French Government and the high attentions paid by China and France on the cooperation project. He also thanked CAS, National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC), Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST) and China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) for their great supports. Prof. Yuan believed that China will continue to make due devotions to the global public health security under the joint efforts with her French partner. Prof. Shi felt greatly honored with the medal of Knight of the Order of Academic Palms. She said that the doctoral education in the University of Montpellier II in France had laid a significant basis on her study in virology. She looked forward to a more in-depth and extensive cooperation in public health, especially the emerging diseases between our two nations.
The National Order of Merit was established in 1963, under Charles de Gaulle. It was instated as a unification of a great many national orders across numerous fields, such as trade, tourism and the postal service. The National Order of Merit replaced these many awards with one award, which recognizes distinguished individuals regardless of gender, nationality or background that make significant contributions to help France to develop good foreign relations. The French Academic Palms recognizes those who have rendered eminent service to French education and have contributed actively to the prestige of French culture. It is the oldest non-military French decoration and the highest honor in French culture and education.
The award ceremony coincided with the Sino-French Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory handover ceremony. This moment of honor was witnessed by Mr. Jinghua Cao, the Director General of Bureau of International Cooperation, CAS, Mrs. Guilan Song, the Deputy Director of CNAS, representatives from NHFPC and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Xinwen Chen, the Director General and Mrs. Yanyi Wang, the Deputy Director General in WIV, Mr. Philippe Max MARTINET, the Consul General of France to Wuhan and Mr. Jean-Michel HUBERT, the National Coordinator for the Sino-French 2004 Agreement.