On December 17, 2018, Zhang Jianguo, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) met with Bernd Gerich, son of the German expert Werner Gerich who was awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal.
On behalf of MOST and SAFEA, Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo first congratulated Bernd Gerich on his father’s award. He said that Mr. Werner Gerich, who came to China in the early years of China‘s reform and opening up, brought innovative ideas, success stories and advanced technology to Chinese enterprises. He was well remembered as the first“foreign factory director”in China since the reform and opening up. Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo remarked that Mr. Werner Gerich, as a pioneer in people-to-people exchange, had made outstanding contribution to the China-Germany friendship. He noted that though many years have passed since Mr. Werner Gerich came to work in China, the Chinese people have never forgotten him and that the China Reform Friendship Medal is also a recognition of his contribution to exchanges between China and Germany. Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo said that people-to-people exchanges between China and Germany have become increasingly frequent in recent years, with Germany accounting for 3.94% of the 960,000 foreigners working in the Chinese mainland. He pointed out that German experts enjoy a very good reputation in China not only for the success stories and advanced technology they brought to the country, but also for their craftsmanship that is worth learning. Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo said that Mr. Bernd Gerich is also an expert in quality management and it is hoped that he could promote China-Germany exchanges and cooperation as his father did.
Mr. Bernd Gerich remarked that the China Reform Friendship Medal is a great honor in recognition of his father’s work in China. He thanked the Chinese government for inviting him to accept the honor on behalf of his father. He said that his father was known as “Mr. Quality” and came to China in the early days of China’s reform and opening up. China’s product quality has been greatly improved over the past decades and now enjoys a high reputation in the world. Mr. Bernd Gerich said that he has also personally witnessed tremendous changes in the living standards of the Chinese people and all these indicate that China’s reform and opening-up policy is beneficial and promotes win-win results in international cooperation and common development.
Deng Yonghui, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Overseas Intellectual Resources Cooperation and Lei Fengyun, member of the leading group of the Department of International Cooperation of MOST, attended the meeting.