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Outstanding foreigners honored for their contributions to the city

TWO foreigners, one of them 90 years old, yesterday received Shanghai’s top honor for outsiders.

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong presented them with Honorary Citizen of Shanghai awards and also awarded 10 others Shanghai Magnolia Gold Awards in recognition of their contributions to the city’s development.

The two recipients of honorary citizenship are Linda Tsao Yang, Chairwoman Emeritus of Asian Corporate Governance Association, and Wong Fatt Heng, General Manager of Roche Diagnostics (Shanghai) Ltd.

“Born in Shanghai, I could not help shedding tears when hearing the good news that the government and people of my hometown give me such high honor 70 years after I left the city for America to study there,” Yang, 90, told the mayor at the presentation ceremony.

“I will continue making every possible effort for the future development of Shanghai,” she added.

Yang was thanked by the mayor for her support for the environment treatment program of Suzhou Creek in Shanghai. She helped to raise US$300 million in loans for the program.

She was also honored for her role in promoting understanding, trust and cooperation between China and America.

Wong, 60, was honored for bringing technologies into China that had benefited the medical community, cultivated talent in the field of bioscience and promoted the development of clinical laboratory research.

Born in Malaysia, Wong said his parents were from Guangdong Province and China was a frequently mentioned topic in their household. This had aroused his curiosity and he had dreamt of checking out China for himself.

When he was appointed to work in Shanghai in 2006 by his company, he felt he had found his niche. “I’m not only participating in business operation of my company, but also hoping to help patients here get the best medical treatments and live healthy lives by introducing latest technologies,” he said.

Wong led Roche Diagnostics (Shanghai) Ltd into a period of rapid development.

He also brought in the diagnosable technologies to prevent H7N9 and Ebola virus from breaking out in the city in 2013-2014, as well as detection technologies to reduce risks of birth defects and those related to late pregnancies as China relaxed its family planning policy.

He was also honored for his social responsibility and active participation in charity events and setting up a foundation for researches in the fields of medicine and bioscience.

Wong is also among the few people to be awarded all three Magnolia awards — silver (introduced in 1989), gold and honorary citizenship (both 1992).

He won the Magnolia Silver in 2011 and Magnolia Gold in 2013. The awards are named after the city flower of Shanghai.Wong has also been given the Shanghai International Excellence Award, an event organized by Shanghai Daily.

The 10 recipients of this year’s Magnolia gold awards come from America, Sweden, France, Ireland, Ukraine, Italy, Singapore and Serbia.

They are John Anthony Cappo with AEG-OPG Culture and Sports (Shanghai); Chunyuan Gu with ABB (China); Patrick Thierry Kouzmine-Karavaieff with Shanghai University of Engineering Science Sino-French IFA Institute of Fashion Designer; Owen K Messick with NU SKIN; Mickael Fergus O’Riordan with Ingredion Incorporated; Mykola Orlov with Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute; Marco Pellizzer with CITS American Express Global Business Travel; Phua Chen Jiang with AT&S China Co; Goran Vasiljevic with Far East Society of Serbia; and Eric Yi Zheng with AIG Insurance China.

They were honored for their contribution to scientific research, education, international exchange and other areas.

“Having lived and worked in over 20 countries, I have no hesitation in saying that the city of Shanghai is the essence of a modern metropolis, which looks to the future with bold determination and sharp focus,” said Pellizzer, General Manager of China Mainland and Hong Kong Region of CITS American Express Global Business Travel.

He was speaking on behalf of the 10 gold recipients.

The Italian added that the award meant both inclusiveness and encouragement to him. “We have embraced Shanghai as our newly adopted city. We have learnt from her and her people as much as we have shared our experiences and professional expertise.

“This award is not just the recognition for what we have done; rather, it is the gentle reminder of the much more we have yet to accomplish and a further push toward greater and more ambitious projects, initiatives for the benefit of the amazing city of Shanghai.”


 

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