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China awards top scientists

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) Two Chinese scientists, material expert Shi Changxu and hematologist Wang Zhenyi, won China's top science award Friday for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation.

The two scientists, both from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, each received five million yuan (757,600 U.S. dollars) and were awarded certificates presented by President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

China has given the annual State Top Scientific and Technological Award to elite scientists and researchers for eleven consecutive years since 2000.

Shi Changxu, 91, graduated from National Northwest China Institute of Technology in 1945 and acquired a doctorate degree at an university in the United States before returning to China in 1955.

He was honored for initiative research on superalloy and new alloy steel, which has widely been used to produce turbine blades for Chinese fighter aircraft.

During his more than 50-year scientific career, his work has lead to the creation of a variety of new alloy steel, according to a communique issued by the State Council for the award.

Shi is an academician with both the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's top two scientific research institutes.

Wang Zhenyi, 87, graduated from Aurora University in 1948 with a doctoral degree. His research achievement has greatly improved the survival chances of people with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML).

The award ceremony was chaired by Vice Premier Li Keqiang and also attended by Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice President Xi Jinping and Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

An original anti-counterfeit device used in banknotes printing won the first prize of State Technological Invention Award.

Three scientists from Germany, one from the United States and one from France won the International Cooperation Award in Science and Technology.

Thirty projects received second prizes in State Natural Sciences Award, but none claimed the first prize.

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