Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets with a group of foreign experts and their relatives, who had recently received the Friendship Award, given annually by the Chinese government to honor outstanding foreign experts in China, in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 30, 2018. Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng also attended the meeting. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING (Xinhua) — Chinese people will not forget foreign experts’ support and assistance to China’s development over the 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Li made the remarks Monday when meeting at the Great Hall of the People with a group of foreign experts who received the Friendship Award, given annually by the Chinese government to honor outstanding foreign experts in China.

The meeting was also attended by vice premiers Han Zheng and Liu He and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Speaking highly of the awardees’ contributions to China, Li said that over the past 70 years, some foreign experts made significant efforts to help China overcome early difficulties, while some introduced advanced technologies, experience and management concepts to China since the beginning of the country’s reform and opening-up.

He noted that China will continue to expand international cooperation in technological innovation, further open up sci-tech projects to foreign experts and encourage them to lead and take part in the country’s sci-tech programs.

China will pursue a more proactive, open and effective policy on training competent professionals, provide more convenience for foreign experts in all respects and create a market-based, legalized and international business environment, Li said.

“We welcome more foreign talent and enterprises to China to start businesses and innovate,” he continued.

The awardees thanked Li and the Chinese government, delivered congratulations on the PRC’s 70th founding anniversary and said they will continue to play a positive part in China’s modernization and the development and progress of the human society.

They then attended a reception held Monday evening at the Great Hall of the People to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.

A total of 100 foreign experts from 31 countries received the Friendship Award this year.