Among other items on his itinerary, Bill Gates visited Xi Jinping in Beijing. However, specific details about their discussions is unknown.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday. The talk between them comes on the third day of Gates’ visit and one day after his meeting with the mayor of Beijing, Yin Yong.
Although there are no official details of Bill Gates’ meeting with President Xi Jinping, the meeting with the Beijing mayor reportedly involved partnering with China on drug discovery. Xi Jinping reportedly told Gates the meeting was his first with an “American friend” this year.
On Wednesday, Gates said his visit to China is the first since 2019 and confirmed he plans to visit with partners “working on global health and development challenges” with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for 15 years.
Gates also spoke at the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI), which develops new medications for infectious diseases. The institute focuses on diseases affecting the world’s indigent population, including ailments like malaria and tuberculosis.
During his remarks, Gates said there is more of a need to address global challenges as seen in the world since his last visit to China in 2019. Gates mentioned climate change, a hunger crisis in some parts of the world, and “a resurgence of infectious diseases.” He added:
“China has made significant gains reducing poverty and improving health outcomes within China. I’m hopeful China can play an even bigger role in addressing the current challenges, particularly those facing African countries.”
Gates also said he is optimistic that the world can overcome these challenges best on progress measured over the last few decades. According to him, nearly 1 in 10 children in low-income countries died before 5 years in 1990 from preventable diseases. The current state according to him is 1 in 25 children, with China’s death rate of young children plunging by 94%.
Xi Jinping Administration to Foster Working Relationships with Bill Gates and Other Prominent Persons
Gates is optimistic about the possibility of eradicating infectious diseases in other parts of the world because of China’s related successes. For instance, Gates said the World Health Organization declared China malaria-free in 2021. This is a long way from the 1950s when China recorded over 300,000 malaria deaths from 30 million annual cases.
In a statement from the Beijing mayor published in Beijing Daily, the city is interested in a deeper relationship with the Gates Foundation. Yong said Beijing is “willing to deepen cooperation with the Gates Foundation” for scientific research and talent training.
Bill Gates’ visit comes shortly after Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk met with Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang to discuss business. Tesla has a gigafactory in Shanghai, where it manufactures and exports products to Asian countries. Tesla also plans to begin constructing a 40 GWh mega factory in Shanghai this year.
In addition to Bill Gates, several other VIPs have visited China recently, although not always meeting with members of the Xi Jinping administration. In May, during his first visit since 2021, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon spoke at the JPM Global China Summit in Shanghai. Also, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Beijing in March.