On his first visit to China in four years, the world’s richest man and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met Chinese President Xi, days before US Secretary of State Antony’s visit, following visits by Apple’s Tim Cook and Tesla’s Elon Musk. Jinping met. John Blinken.
The visit comes at a time when US-China bilateral ties have fractured over a number of issues, including Chinese claims to Taiwan, the South China Sea, the Ukraine conflict and semiconductor industry issues.
Gates’ primary focus on his trip will be “meeting partners who have been working on global health and development challenges” with his family’s eponymous foundation for more than a decade, he said on Twitter.
Gates – one of the world’s wealthiest men – is the latest in a string of Western business leaders visiting China since the country ended strict Covid controls that essentially shut it off from the world for nearly three years.
The Gates Foundation pledged nearly $50 million to help Chinese efforts to fight the disease.
During the meeting, Xi told Gates that China has always placed its hopes on the American people and hoped to continue the friendship between the two countries regardless of the current affairs. Gates, in turn, praised China’s efforts in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, setting an excellent example for the world.
The billionaire’s latest trip comes at a very uncertain time for US-China relations as tensions mount over the future of advanced semiconductors and AI development, Chinese raids by authorities on international companies and fears of attacks on Taiwan.
Gates left his role as Microsoft chairman nearly a decade ago and left the board in 2020.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced its collaboration with the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute to support Chinese efforts to fight diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.
The meeting is taking place ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China on Sunday.
Other US business leaders, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, SpaceX CEO Musk and Apple CEO Cook, also made their way to China, citing the country’s huge market and optimism about trade ties between the two economic superpowers. have taken.