Xi presents awards to ‘heroes’ and ‘old friends’ of China  

On 14 March 2013, in a confirmation vote in Beijing, Xi was appointed President of the People’s Republic of China. He obtained 2,952 votes against, 3 abstentions and one vote against. After serving two terms, he substituted Hu Jintao who retired.

President Xi Jinping presented on honorary medals to many people on Sunday, including a former French Prime Minister, and a centenary Canadian educator to a variety of national and foreign “heroes”.

The awards ceremony is part of China’s 70th-anniversary festivities, which will begin with a huge military parade to demonstrate the development of China as a worldwide superpower in Beijing on Tuesday.

According to Xi, the heroes and role models are all dedicated to the party and people’s cause … and they are determined to work for the joy of the people, as stated by him in his speech after the award ceremony.

Isabel Crook was the oldest prizewinner born in 1915, living in China since before the PR had been founded in 1949, according to official news agency Xinhua. The famous Canadian anthropologist and teacher was born in1915.

The centenarian, who was born in the southwestern town of Chengdu, made exceptional contributions to China’s education and friendly exchanges with foreign nations, as reported by Xinhua.

Xinhua further reported that Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin was acknowledged as an “ancient Chinese friend” for his “long-term engagement to fostering friendship between China and France”.

Former Cuban President Raul Castro and Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn were among other global award-winners. A total of 42 awards were presented, but there were only 29 recipients.

The first ever Chinese citizens to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to build anti-malarian medicine were Tu Youyou and Yu Min. Both of them are nuclear physicists, and are commonly known as the “fathers of China’s hydrogen bomb’. They too were listed among the winners of the awards.