Jim Baker to receive the National Friendship Award of China
Dr. Jim Baker, vice president for research and economic development and international programs at Missouri State University, will receive the National Friendship Award of China in Beijing on National Day (Oct. 1). This is the highest honor that the Chinese government confers to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China.
Hosted annually by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the award recognizes and commends foreign experts for their outstanding achievements and dedication to China’s development and construction in the fields of economics, technology, education and culture, as well as personnel cultivation. Winners of the annual award are invited to Beijing to attend the awarding ceremony, meet with Chinese party and state leaders, and participate in National Day festivities.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award from the Chinese government on behalf of the faculty and staff at Missouri State University, who have worked diligently to make our programs in China successful,” Baker said.
This award grew out of the recognition established in the 1950s in honor of experts from the former Soviet Union and East European countries. On the eve of National Day, then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Foreign Minister Chen Yi presented a letter of thanks to the foreign experts who made special contributions to China. The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs resumed the recognition the Friendship Award in 1991.
Approximately 50 foreign experts receive the National Friendship Award every year. From 1991-2004, a total of 800 foreign experts from 55 countries have received the honorary award. At present, more than 30 types of foreign expert awards have been established at the provincial, regional and municipal levels in China.