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Dong Qiang receives French Legion of Honour

Peking University, Mar. 6, 2015: On January 29, 2015, Professor Dong Qiang was awarded the Legion of Honor, which is the highest honor in France established by Napoleon in 1802, by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls who was on his three-day visit in China. It is the first time for a Chinese scholar in the field of French language and culture to receive such a great honor.

Dong Qiang, dean of the Department of French Language and Literature at Peking University, is a famous translator and scholar who has long been engaged in promoting Sino-French cultural communication. He had been in France for twelve years, and was once a student of Milan Kundera, one of the world's best-known authors. In 2001, Dong went back to China, teaching in the Department of French Language and Literature in Peking University. In the past twenty years, he has published over thirty works, including the translation of The Analects of Confucius, L’art du Roman(The Art of the Novel),Dictionnaire de la Peinture, etc., promoting cultural communication between China and France.  

He was awarded the French Education Medal “Palm Tree Leaf” in 2008, and became the president of the jury of Le Prix Fu Lei in 2009.He also received La Grande medaille de la Francophonie by L’Institut de France in 2013, and was regarded as one of the “50 ans 50 personnes” on the ceremony of the fiftieth anniversary of the China-France diplomatic relations in 2014.

At the ceremony, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke highly of Professor Dong Qiang for his significant contribution to enhancing the relationship and communication between France and China. He acknowledged Dong’s deep understanding of French language and culture, and especially praised Dong for his great works on translation and literary writing, including his French poems and calligraphy, which have paved way for his later work of promoting cultural exchange. Valls said Dong was respected and appreciated by many prominent French writers such as Nobel Prize winner Jean Marie Gustave Le Clézio and world famous writer Milan Kundera, and said that he himself was there to honor him—a esteemed poet, distinguished calligrapher, notable writer, and good friend of France.

In his speech after receiving the honor, Dong appreciated the honor awarded by French Prime Minister and said the honor was a respect paid to all the Chinese people who learn French, love French culture, and are devoted themselves into Sino-French cultural communication. “This is not my personal honor, and I am glad to be chosen as a representative. I do hope we can share this honor together, and I believe this will further encourage me to commit to promoting cultural exchanges and enhancing the understanding between people in the two nations,” said Dong.

Officials, scholars and celebrities from both countries witnessed the ceremony.

Written by: Wu Zhangxin’an

Edited by: Zhang Jiang

Source: Office of International Relations