Princess Sirindhorn receives “Friendship Medal” from President Xi

Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (L) shakes hands with China’s President Xi Jinping (R) during an awards ceremony at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People

BEIJING (Agencies) –  HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn today received the Medal of Friendship, China’s highest state honor for foreigners, from President Xi Jinping in a ceremony on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The award ceremony is part of China’s celebrations to mark 70 years of communist rule, which will kick off on Tuesday with a massive military parade in Beijing aimed at showcasing the country’s emergence as a global superpower.

Princess Sirindhorn is among the six foreigners who were  awarded the Medal of Friendship for their contributions to supporting China’s socialist modernization, promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and foreign countries and safeguarding world peace.

In his speech at the awarding ceremony, President Xi called for extensive efforts to further carry forward heroes and role models’ distinct spirits of loyalty, perseverance and humbleness.

The Chinese president said the ceremony aims to confer the highest national honor on outstanding people who have made great contributions to China’s national construction and development, and international friends who have made outstanding contributions to promoting Sino-foreign exchanges and cooperation.

Xinhua news agency reported that Princess Sirindhorn said in a written reply to the award that she was very impressed with the Medal of Friendship conferred by the Chinese government and excited at the awarding event in China, which she described as an important experience in her life.

“For the past 70 years, the Chinese people and the Chinese government have developed the country and overcome many, varied obstacles,”  the princess said, according to Xinhua.

It said she noted that both the Chinese people and the Chinese leaders have had patience, perseverance, diligence and desire for knowledge so as to have acquired prosperity.

The princess congratulated China and the Chinese people on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

“I wish the People’s Republic of China to acquire progress and success and the Chinese people to have physical and mental happiness, prosperity and stability,” she said.

The princess also commented that the Thailand-China cooperation on education has offered Thailand new chances.

“When I had the opportunity to study the Chinese language and society for a month, I thought of sending Thai students for a course in China, especially about science, technology and other subjects which others may not have learned in China before,” she said.

Many students returned to Thailand after finishing their study in China, with some finding jobs and some advancing their studies in other countries.

“Thai researchers were sent to work with Chinese researchers for projects which we certainly would not have done if we had not cooperated with China. China has conducted research and development on those projects for the past 70 years,” she noted.


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