Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday signed a presidential decree to award 42 Chinese and foreign individuals national medals and honorary titles, as the People's Republic of China prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary.
The conferring of the Medal of the Republic, the Friendship Medal and national honorary titles, with some to posthumous awardees, was endorsed by the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the top legislature, at a special session on Tuesday.
The eight honorees of the Medal of the Republic are deceased nuclear physicist Yu Min, longtime national legislator Shen Jilan, aerospace engineer Sun Jiadong, war veterans Li Yannian and Zhang Fuqing, "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping, nuclear submarine designer Huang Xuhua and Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou who led the discovery of malaria drug artemisinin.
Six foreigners were awarded the Friendship Medal for their great contributions to supporting China's socialist modernization, promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and foreign countries and safeguarding world peace.
They are Cuba's Raul Castro Ruz, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Tanzania's Salim Ahmed Salim, Russia's Galina Kulikova, France's Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Canada's Isabel Crook.
The national honorary titles, including "the people's scientist," "the people's artist," "the people's hero" and "the people's role model," were granted to 28 prominent figures who have made great contributions and enjoy prestige in various fields.
Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said honoring model individuals who have made great contributions to China's construction and development helps build a stronger sense of national identity and promote core socialist values.
The honoring and promotion of those outstanding individuals will inspire the Chinese people to continue striving for national rejuvenation and demonstrate China's strong will to safeguard world peace and promote human progress, Li said.