After the Microsoft co-founder’s foundation offered $50 million to aid Chinese efforts to combat sickness, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told his “old friend” Bill Gates on Friday that China had always placed its hopes in the American people.
One of the wealthiest men in the world, Gates is the most recent in a long line of Western corporate titans to visit China since the nation lifted the harsh Covid rules that had virtually cut off its access to the outside world for almost three years.
The trip marked Gates’ first to China in four years, and it featured an unusual meeting between the Chinese president and a prominent international corporate figure.
According to the state-run media, Xi told Gates, “You are the first American friend I have met in Beijing this year,” in Beijing.
“We have always placed our hopes on the American people and hoped for continued friendship between the peoples of the two countries,” Xi added.
According to a recording of the meeting released by state broadcaster CCTV, Gates said he was “very honored to have this chance to meet.”
“We’ve always had great conversations, and we’ll have a lot of important topics to discuss today,” he said.
“It’s fascinating to be back,” she said. “I was very disappointed that I couldn’t come during these last four years.”
State media also mentioned Gates applauding China’s efforts in “tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, setting a good example for the world.”