Bill Gates (on screen), speaks via video link during the 2023 Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum) in Beijing, China, 26 May 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/WU HAO

Xi meets Bill Gates to discuss innovation, development cooperation

Beijing, June 16 (EFE).- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met Bill Gates, the co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss strengthening cooperation in scientific innovation, global development and public health.

During the meeting in Beijing, Xi hailed Gates and his foundation’s long-term commitment to global poverty reduction, health, development and humanitarian assistance, state-owned People’s Daily reported.

China’s President Xi Jinping attends an event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 14 June 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/JADE GAO/POOL

The Chinese president said his country was a committed major contributor to global development, peace, stability and prosperity.

“As a strong country, we will never follow the old path of seeking hegemony, but will work with other countries to achieve a common development and build a community with a shared future,” he stressed.

Xi said China is willing to strengthen its scientific and technological innovation cooperation with all countries to address climate change, combat the pandemic and improve public health.

He added that Beijing was committed to strengthening cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the meeting, Gates commended China’s “remarkable achievements in poverty reduction and (its) response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The American philanthropist said his foundation would seek to boost cooperation with China in areas such as innovation, global poverty reduction, public health, medicine development, and rural agriculture.

China’s foreign Minister Qin Gang and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

On Thursday, Gates delivered a speech at Beijing’s Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI), stressing on the need of using technology to address global health challenges.

The billionaire said his foundation over the next five years would provide $50 million to GHDDI to bolster the institute’s drug discovery capacity.

The 67-year-old co-founder of Microsoft had resigned as the company’s board director in 2020 to focus on his foundation’s efforts on global health, education and climate change.

Xi and Bill Gates last met in 2015.

In 2020, Xi sent a letter to thank Gates for his foundation’s support for China, including a $5 million donation for the fight against COVID-19.

Several foreign CEOs have visited China this year; but their interactions were limited to meeting ministers.

“You are the first American friend I met in Beijing this year,” Xi told Gates. EFE