In fall 2010, the People's Republic of China honored Martha Demas, senior project specialist at the GCI, with the 2010 Friendship Award, the highest award presented to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country's economic and social progress. This award was given in recognition of Demas's extensive involvement in the GCI's work on the China Principles and Mogao Grottoes projects.

The GCI has been involved in heritage conservation in China for more than twenty years on projects ranging from site management (the Mogao and Yungang grottoes) and wall paintings conservation (Mogao) to the development of national guidelines for the conservation and management of cultural heritage in China (China Principles).