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Bill Gates to visit China, meet Xi Jinping

Bill Gates

BNR – Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, is scheduled for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday. According to sources familiar with the situation, the meeting will take place during Gates’ trip to China.

It will be Xi’s first meeting in years with a foreign private businessman. According to the sources, the meeting might be personal. Another source confirmed they will meet, but gave no other specifics.

The sources did not specify what the two may talk about. Bill Gates tweeted on Wednesday that he has arrived in Beijing for the first time since 2019. Also, he stated that he will meet with partners who have been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on global health and development issues.

Requests for response were not promptly responded to by the foundation or China’s State Council Information Office.

Gates resigned from Microsoft’s board of directors in 2020 to focus on charitable efforts in worldwide healthcare, education, and the environment. In 2008, he resigned from his full-time senior position at Microsoft.

The last time Xi and Gates were seen together was in 2015, on the sidelines of the Boao Conference in Hainan province. In early 2020, Xi thanked Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a letter. The letter expressed gratitude for the support pledged to China, which included $5 million for its battle against COVID-19.

Bill Gates and Xi Jinping: Meeting Significance

The meeting would signal the conclusion of Xi’s recent break from engaging with overseas private businesspeople.

Several international CEOs have been to China since it reopened early this year, but the majority were in contact with government ministers.

In March, Premier Li Qiang convened with a group of international CEOs, including Apple’s Tim Cook. Also, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, met with Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang just recently.

However, the foreign business community’s attitude toward China has shifted to one of caution. Friction between China and the United States rise as Xi focuses more on national security.

Gates’ visit also comes prior to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s delayed trip to China. The visit is scheduled for 18-19 June and seeks to stabilise relations between the two economies.

On Wednesday, Blinken had a heated phone call with China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang. During the call, Qin warned the US to quit interfering in Chinese matters and endangering China’s security.


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