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One January 19, 2020, I attended the 2020 Tea Party for High-Level Talents and Symposium for Newly Elected Academicians [2020年高层次人才迎春茶话会暨新当选院士座谈会] of the province Anhui [安徽省] held in the East Hall [东楼礼堂] of the Daoxianglou Hotel [稻香楼宾馆]. In this meeting, the seven(!) new academicians of our province as well as high-level talents and teams were introduced. The importance of science, technology, and the cultivation of top-level talents in all fields was emphasized. Mr. Jinbin Li [李锦斌], the party secretary of our province, as well as Mr. Guoying Li [李国英], the province governor, both took part in this meeting, which further stresses the deep interest of the province leadership in pushing technological and scientific progress.

The meeting started with an introduction of the seven newly elected academicians of our province. Then, the provincial leaders awarded the outstanding individuals and groups of 2019, including the academician units, the provincial "115" industrial innovation teams [省"115"产业创新团队] elected in 2019, and Jianghui Excellent Talent Cards [江淮优才卡] to top-level provincial talents.

After the ceremony, ten speeches by representatives of the newly elected academician and high-level talent units were given. The speakers included Prof. Jinlong Yang [杨金龙], Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院院士] and Vice-President of the University of Science and Technology of China [中国科技大学副校长], Prof. Shou Peng [彭寿], Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering [中国工程院院士], Prof. Yican Wu [吴宜灿], Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院院士] and the International Academy of Nuclear Energy [国际核能院院士], Prof. Yunming Wang [王运敏], Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering [中国工程院院士], Mr. Guisheng Yang [杨桂生], Chairman of Anhui JRANT New Materials Co. [安徽杰蓝特新材料有限公司], Prof. Manzhou Zhu [朱满洲], Professor of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Anhui University [安徽大学化学化工学院], me myself, i.e., Prof. Dr. Thomas Weise [汤卫思], Mr. Yiming Zhu [朱一明], CEO and Chairman of Changxin Storage Technology Co., Ltd [长鑫存储技术有限公司], Mrs. Lingling Ji [纪玲玲], Thermal engineering control and protection technician [热工程控保护技师] at Wanneng Ma'anshan Power Generation Co., Ltd [皖能马鞍山发电有限公司], and Mr. Quan Zheng [郑权], Gold medal winner of the 45th World Skills Competition [第45届世界技能大赛建筑石雕项目金牌获得者]. It was both an exciting and humbling experience to learn about the outstanding achievements and innovation power of our province. Out of all speakers, I certainly was the least qualified to take part in this event. It was an honor that the organizers gave me a chance to give a short speech too, which I used to emphasize the great working environment, living conditions, and outstanding support provided for international researchers by our province. (Special thanks here go to Mr. Lei Hong [洪磊], who interpreted the speech and to our secretary Mrs. Bing Zhou [周冰] who translated it.) Hefei [合肥] has become the third most-popular city for foreigners in China for a good reason: uncomplicated administrative processes, administrative support, nice accommodation, great infrastructure, nice parks and museums, and a vibrant research community make it a great place for living and working. Impressive examples for the latter are the seven newly elected academicians.

After these talks, Mr. Jinbin Li [李锦斌], the party secretary of our province, spoke about the present and future of our province. He listed the progress that Anhui achieved during 2019, including its outstanding economic growth. The importance that research, science, and the cultivation of talents in achieving this progress as well as for the future of our province was emphasized. He made clear that the provincial politics will strive to provide and improve a great environment to nurture them.

The meeting ended with be good wishes for a happy Spring Festival and a successful year of the rat.

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