Medal Award Ceremony in Vienna Strengthens Chinese-Austrian Relations

More+Events ♦ Published: September 13, 2022; 11:34 ♦ (Vindobona)

Several individuals who helped strengthen Chinese-Austrian relations were honored with Rosthorn Medals 2022 recently at Palais Epstein. Werner Fasslabend, Margareta Griessler-Hermann, LI Xiaosi, the ambassador of the People's Republic of China, and Gottfried Sodeck, an entrepreneur, received them this year.

The Chinese ambassador in Vienna LI Xiaosi was also honoured on this evening and received the medal from Heinz Fischer and Michael Spindelegger. / Picture: © Parlamentsdirektion / Thomas Topf

Palais Epstein recently hosted the award ceremony of the Rosthorn Medals 2022, which honour individuals who strengthen Chinese-Austrian relations.

This year they went to the former Austrian Minister of Defence or former Third President of the National Council, Werner Fasslabend, to the sinologist, author and senior councillor of the Viennese provincial government, Margareta Griessler-Hermann, to the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, LI Xiaosi, and to Gottfried Sodeck, owner and CEO of the Vogelbusch company.

The guests gathered at Palais Epstein at the invitation of Austrian National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka and the Austrian-Chinese Society (ÖGCF).

The event was also held in memory of China expert Gerd Kaminski, who died in August, founded the ÖGCF in 1971 and headed the Austrian Institute for China and Southeast Asia Research. His death leaves a gap that can hardly be filled, emphasised Parliamentary Director Harald Dossi in the opening speech of the event.

The laudations for the medal recipients were held by the former Federal and National Council President and President of the ÖGCF, Heinz Fischer, and Michael Spindelegger, the former Vice-Chancellor and Second National Council President in his function as one of the deputy ÖGCF Presidents.

Spindelegger highlighted Fasslabend's four meetings with the Chinese Defence Minister as special achievements. Fasslabend had supported Chinese-Austrian relations in all functions.

Griessler-Hermann had, among other things, made a significant contribution to a better understanding between the two countries through her scientific work. Sodeck practised successful cooperation with China on an operational basis through projects of the Vogelbusch company.

If there were a kind of checklist for an excellent ambassador, Ambassador Xiaosi would get "a mark in all areas", Fischer said in his laudation. Xiaosi had a comprehensive understanding of Austria and sometimes helped to fulfil the wishes of his host country, for example with regard to Austrian enterprises or institutions such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with regard to worldwide performances.

China is one of Austria's main trading partners, Ambassador Xiaosi said in his words of thanks. In view of the current challenges, cooperation is needed more than ever, Xiaosi pointed out, adding that the two countries had also cooperated well in resolving international conflicts.

He hoped that the exchange between China and Austria would continue to be strengthened and that the relations between the two countries would continue to develop well.

In her laudation, Kaminski's wife, Hongbin Kaminski, honoured Binglie Su, a long-time research associate of the ÖGCF, who was awarded an honorary membership of the Society.

The Rosthorn Medal has been awarded since 1986 to persons or organisations who have rendered outstanding services in the field of Sino-Austrian relations. The person who gave the medal its name, Arthur von Rosthorn (1862-1945), was a sinologist and diplomat who played a central role in building up Chinese-Austrian understanding.

The Arthur von Rosthorn Medal, donated by the Austrian-Chinese Society and the Austrian Institute for Research on China and Southeast Asia, is awarded by a board of trustees chaired by Helmut Sohmen.

Austrian Parliament