Home China Medal honors Merieux Foundation president’s decades-long bond with China

Medal honors Merieux Foundation president’s decades-long bond with China

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This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations. On May 5, 2024, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Paris for a state visit to France at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

France was the first major Western country to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with the People’s Republic of China. Bilateral relations have long been at the forefront of China’s relations with Western countries.

On Dec. 18, 2018, at a celebration marking the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, Xi awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal to 10 international friendly personages for their contributions to China’s reform and opening-up. Alain Merieux, President of the Merieux Foundation, was one of the recipients. His certificate number was 001.

During the meeting with Merieux and his wife in Beijing on April 8, 2024, Xi expressed appreciation for the long-term care and support from the couple as well as the Merieux Foundation for the development of China-France relations and the cause of China’s healthcare, and also hoped that the Merieux Foundation would continue deepening cooperation with China.

Merieux is an old friend of the Chinese people. Recalling that his bond with China began 46 years ago, Merieux said he has been following and admiring China’s progress over the years.

Merieux came to China for the first time in 1978, marking the beginning of the Merieux Company and Merieux Foundation’s friendly cooperation with China. Over the course of the past 40 years and more, Merieux has been involved in and witnessed every key stage of development in China’s medical and health sector, including the first tuberculosis vaccination and the first bio-safety level four laboratory in Asia.

The changes that have taken place in China have not only benefited hundreds of millions of Chinese people, but have also brought benefits to the world, Merieux remarked.

In March 2014, Xi made a special trip to the Biomerieux research center in Lyon during his visit to France, where he was warmly received by the Merieux’s and staff members. All the researchers rushed to shake hands with Xi, Merieux recalled.

Xi said he was glad to see that Merieux Group has made so many achievements in its cooperation with China, and appreciated its contributions to promoting China-France friendly cooperation.

Merieux has not only witnessed, but also participated in and contributed to China’s reform and development. Together with the Chinese people, he has written several chapters in the friendship and exchange between China and France.

As Xi said during his meeting with Merieux and his wife, over the past 60 years, generation after generation has carried forward and developed China-France relations, with the friendship between the two countries becoming further consolidated over time.