China’s state media said Friday Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"I often say the foundation of US-China relations lies with its people,” Xi said in a video on state broadcaster CCTV. Xi said Gates was the first American friend that he had met with this year, adding he places his “hopes on the American people."
Their meeting comes after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Thursday that it is donating $50 million to China’s Global Health Drug Discovery Institute to help strengthen its drug discovery capacity.
Gates, one of the world’s richest men, was in China on Thursday for what he said were meetings with global health and development partners who have worked with his charitable foundation.
“Solving problems like climate change, health inequity and food insecurity requires innovation,” Gates tweeted. “From developing malaria drugs to investing in climate adaptation, China has a lot of experience in that. We need to unlock that kind of progress for more people around the world.”
Gates said global crises stifled progress in reducing death and poverty in children and that he will next travel to West Africa because African countries are particularly vulnerable “with high food prices, crushing debt, and increasing rates of TB and malaria.”
Gates is the latest business figure to visit China this year, following Apple’s Tim Cook and Tesla’s Elon Musk.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.