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Xi Jinping Meets With ‘Old Friend’ Bill Gates To Discuss Global Challenges

Meeting marks Xi's first with a foreign entrepreneur in years amid US-China tensions

BEIJING — Microsoft Corp’s co-founder Bill Gates met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday during his visit to China. The meeting marks Xi’s first meeting with a foreign entrepreneur in recent years. 

Describing Bill Gates as “an old friend”, Xi expressed his desire for cooperation that would mutually benefit both China and the U.S., reports Reuters. 

During the meeting Xi said he was very happy to see Gates.

“You’re the first American friend I’ve met in Beijing this year,” the Chinese leader said to Gates.

“I always believe that the foundation of the US-China relationship is in the people. I am placing my hope in the American people,” Xi said, according to a broadcast by CCTV.

In January 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $5 million to China to help frontline responders battle the virus.

In a blog post on Friday, Gates said he and Xi had discussed global health and development challenges, such as health inequity and climate change.

“I just had a meeting with President Xi, in which we discussed the importance of addressing global health and development challenges, like health inequity and climate change, and how China can play a role in achieving progress for people everywhere,” Gates wrote.

According to Reuters, the last meeting between Xi and Gates was in 2015, when they met on the sidelines of the Boao forum in Hainan province.

Preceding the much-awaited visit of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China, Gates’ visit to the country holds significance in the context of stabilizing relations between the world’s largest economies.

US Secretary of the Treasury John Snow (L) listens to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan before talks with Chinese officials 30 September, 2004 at the Treasury in Washington, DC, ahead of the IMF-World Bank annual Fall Meetings. Snow this week made it clear that the G7 would “press” China on the currency question, adding that Chinese progress toward greater exchange rate flexibility had been “unsatisfactory.” PHOTO BY BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

In a phone conversation on Wednesday, Blinken engaged with China’s foreign minister Qin Gang, who urged the U.S. to refrain from interfering in China’s internal affairs and compromising its security, Reuters reported.


© 2023 Zenger Zenger News does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Daisy Atino and Diane Walsh

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