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Chinese women feature in Mulan awards in London

By Li Wensha in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-12-16 01:23

Chinese women feature in Mulan awards in London

Mei Sim Lai (left), Chair of the Mulan Foundation Network, and Lina Fan (right), a wine expert and winner of the Mulan Women Achievement Awards, pose for pictures. [Photo by See Li/For China Daily]

A winemaker, an eye doctor and an equity partner are among this year's winners of Mulan Women Achievement Awards which highlight the remarkable contributions of Chinese women made in the UK and Europe.

Lina Fan, a French wine expert and owner of vineyards in Bordeaux, France, won the contribution for business and enterprise award. She was much commended for advancing the techniques and appreciation of wine making and its cultural importance beyond a country with a renowned history in the art of wine making and whilst up against local experts.

"I have a passion for wine making, and I am delighted that through my work, we prove that a wine maker from a Chinese background can not only maintain the professional standard in Bordeaux but also excel," Fan said at the award ceremony at the Parliament building this week. She is the first general manager and wine maker from a Chinese background in a Margaux vineyard in Bordeaux, France.

The Mulan Women Achievement Awards recognize and promote and the achievements of Chinese women residing in the UK and continental Europe. The name of the awards was inspired by the Chinese legendary heroine Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to save her family honor and her country.

Mei Sim Lai, Chair of the Mulan Foundation Network which gives the awards, said "I believe, and I know, that Chinese women around the world have so much to offer, to help each other, to deal with the businesses and also to act as role models for others. And this is what Mulan charity is all about."

Chinese women feature in Mulan awards in London

Sanny Yuzhen Jiang (left), a UK-based practicing eye doctor, and Suwei Jiang (right), an equity partner at PwC UK, pose for pictures at the Milan award ceremony in London.[Photo by See Li/For China Daily]

Also highly commended was Jiang Suwei, an equity partner at PwC UK. She is the first Mainland Chinese to be made equity partner in a big 4 accountancy firm in the UK. She helped the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) set up in China and was instrumental in devising a ground breaking PwC/Tsinghua University Flying Start programme for students to take Chartered Accountancy qualifications from ICAEW while completing their university studies.

Ang Swee Chai, founder and patron of Medical Aid for Palestinians, was awarded for contribution to community and charitable causes. As a full time orthopaedic surgeon in an NHS hospital she was able to pursue her humanitarian work for helping Palestinian refugees over three decades, often exposing herself to danger in war torn areas.

Sanny Yuzhen Jiang, a UK-based practicing eye doctor and clinician scientist, was also highly commended for her voluntary work in the community and charitable causes.

She founded Yi Tian Yi Ren, an eye charity that has so far provided free-sight saving surgeries to 1,544 patients struggling with blindness and poverty. She is also a volunteer cataract surgery trainer at Helen Keller International, an organisation which has trained numerous rural doctors to provide cost effective surgeries to serve thousands of patients suffering reversible blindness-leading diseases.

For far too long Chinese women have kept a generally low profile but Mulan aims to address this issue by encouraging Chinese women to use their skills and talents to help others.

"We want to connect the successful Chinese ladies globally to younger Chinese ladies so that they can help each other, but more important, they can help others in society," Lai said. More than 200 politicians, business leaders and media professionals attended the award ceremony.

The Mulan awards were first organized in 2009 by Sonny Leong, chair of the Chinese for Labour political group, Katy Blair, co-founder of the Islington Chinese Association, and Meeling Ng, a Labour councillor who is is currently an Independent Governor on the Board of London South Bank University.

Hoping to assure the public that the award is non-political and open to all, they subsequently decided to establish the Mulan Foundation Network in 2013 as a registered charity and invited Lai to be the chair.

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