Invoice Gates meets with President Xi Jinping in Beijing

Sizzling on the heels of Elon Musk’s go to to China earlier this month, the nation welcomed one other American tech billionaire. Invoice Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis, met President Xi Jinping on Friday in Beijing, China’s state media reported.

Like Musk, that is Gates’ first journey to China for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted his frequent visits to the nation the place Microsoft has had a presence for 20 years.

The objective of the assembly hasn’t been introduced publicly, however official media stories will seemingly observe. A reporter from China’s English state tabloid International Instances tweeted what appeared to be quotes from the assembly, giving us an early glimpse into the temper of the dialog.

Gates beforehand stated he’d be assembly companions engaged on n international well being and improvement challenges. These are the few remaining areas the place China and the West discover widespread floor amid rising geopolitical tensions.

“You’re the first American good friend I’ve met in Beijing this yr,” President Xi informed Gates on Friday. “Because the world is rising from covid, individuals ought to transfer round extra, talk extra, and improve their understanding of one another.”

President Xi additionally informed Gates that China is prepared to have interaction in “in depth technological innovation cooperation with international locations all over the world” and “actively take part in and promote the response to international challenges” similar to local weather change and public well being,” based on the reporter.

Gates is visiting China at a curious time. Final week, the Monetary Instances reported that Beijing-based Microsoft Analysis Asia (MSRA), the tech big’s largest R&D outfit outdoors the U.S., is transferring a few of its high AI skills from China to Vancouver to mitigate the influence of the more and more strained relationship between China and the U.S.

The Biden Administration is weighing restrictions on investments from the U.S. into Chinese language cutting-edge applied sciences together with AI, semiconductors and quantum computing.

MSRA, which began in 1998, has performed a pivotal function in coaching China’s AI expertise, lots of whom have gone on to discovered their very own ventures. That features autonomous driving upstart Momenta, which has attracted funding from Bosch, Normal Motors and Toyota.

It gained’t be a shock if Gates is eschewing the sensitive matter of the U.S.-China tech battle and focuses on philanthropic endeavors on the journey.

A day earlier than assembly President Xi, he introduced a renewed collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Authorities and Tsinghua College on modern therapies for infectious illnesses in low- and middle-income international locations. As a part of the partnership, the Gates Basis pledged a donation of $50 million to the International Well being Drug Discovery Institute, a nonprofit establishment established in 2016 as “China’s first public-private partnership on modern analysis between the Beijing Municipal Authorities, Tsinghua College, and the Gates Basis,” based on the institute’s web site.

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