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Recognition in Shanghai

Director of the Queen's China Liaison Office in Shanghai receives the prestigious Magnolia Award.

  • Dr. Zhang (second from the right) stands with a group of recipients during the Magnolia Awards ceremony.
    Dr. Zhang (second from the right) stands with a group of recipients during the Magnolia Awards ceremony.
  • All recipients of the 2018 Shanghai Magnolia Awards stand together after the presentation ceremony,
    All recipients of the 2018 Shanghai Magnolia Awards stand together after the presentation ceremony,
  • Dr. Zhang poses with Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai at the Magnolia Awards Ceremony.
    Dr. Zhang poses with Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai at the Magnolia Awards Ceremony.
  • From left to right: Mr. Zhang Xiaosong, Director-General, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; Mr. Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General In Shanghai; and Dr. Zhang.
    From left to right: Mr. Zhang Xiaosong, Director-General, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; Mr. Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General In Shanghai; and Dr. Zhang.
  • From left to right: Dr Zhang; Mr. Chen Hui, Department Head, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; and Mr. Li Mingjun, President of China Europe International Business School (CIEBS)
    From left to right: Dr Zhang; Mr. Chen Hui, Department Head, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; and Mr. Li Mingjun, President of China Europe International Business School (CIEBS)

As a representative for Queen’s in China, Zhiyao Zhang keeps a busy schedule of connecting students with resources, managing collaborative programs with partners, and volunteer work. Recognition from the Shanghai Government has brought him international attention as a Shanghai Magnolia Award recipient.

The magnolia is the official flower of the city. The Magnolia award is recognition from the Shanghai Government to foreigners who work in Shanghai and make great contributions to Shanghai’s development. Awards are granted to those working in economy and trade, finance, education, tourism, and communications. Roughly 50 foreigners are recognized every year since its inception in 2000. Many recipients are CEOs and Chairs of national and multi-national companies.

[Dr. Zhang poses with his award.]
Dr. Zhang and the Magnolia Award certificate.

“My case was a little different. I was chosen for my work as a Canadian university representative,” says Dr. Zhang, Director of the Queen's China Liason Office. “I didn’t expect the award, and I’m happy and honoured.”

The Queen's China Liaison Office was established in 2007, located at Fudan University in Shanghai. The office seeks opportunities for academic and research collaboration with Chinese universities and government offices, recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students for degree programs at Queen’s, and maintaining links with Queen’s alumni in China.

Dr. Zhang’s nomination was the result of over a decade of work representing Queen’s with Fudan University, Tongji University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), and the Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office in Shanghai on collaborations in research, graduate and undergraduate exchange programs, degree programs, and official training programs.

“As a Queen’s representative, I think this award will help to promote the office and Queen’s in general in Shanghai, and more broadly in China,” says Dr. Zhang. “This recognition helps to build trust. Trust building is important but not easy in China, no matter what business you’re in.”

Dr. Zhang says the award is a result of teamwork. He works closely with people from home campus and Shanghai, initiated and coordinated high profile programs, including:

  • The establishment of Sino-Canada Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, in partnership with Fudan and Tongji University,
  • The Centre for Canadian Public Policy Studies at Fudan, working with Fudan University with the support of the Canadian Embassy in China and Consulate General in Shanghai,
  • High-profile Sino-Canada Conferences organized, such as The Sino-Canada Water Forum and the Sino-Canada Environmental Governance Roundtable, and
  • A Canadian Study Lecture Series at Fudan created to provide a platform for Queen’s faculties to lecture at Fudan.

Indirectly related to his work, Dr. Zhang also contributes his time as a volunteer at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Shanghai Projects Office to promote nature education and works with a freelance ecologist and a farm manager to start the Good Earth Project, promoting eco-friendly agriculture and environment education. Both WWF and Good Earth Projects have now become informal research and teaching sites for Queen’s faculties and visiting students in Shanghai.