Story by dw.com
15 Jun 2023
President Xi said that Gates was the "first American" he has met this year and hoped for "continued friendship" the two countries.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, China's state media has reported.
In a rare sit-down between the head of state and a foreign business leader President Xi told Gates that "you are the first American friend I have met in Beijing this year."
"We have always placed our hopes on the American people, and hoped for continued friendship between the peoples of the two countries," Xi added.
This is Gates' first visit in four years. The head of the Gates Foundation is one of the first few Western business leaders to visit China since the country ended its strict COVID controls.
Gates to help China fight malaria, tuberculosis
On Thursday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said that it would give $50 million (€45 million) to support Chinese efforts to fight malaria and tuberculosis.
The Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) is a Beijing-based group set up by Bill Gates, the Beijing municipal government and Tsinghua University.
The Gates Foundation has announced that it will renew its collaboration with the GHDDI.
The objective is to help "improve health outcomes worldwide through life saving therapies for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria, which disproportionately affect the world's poorest," said the foundation in a statement.
Gates will also meet global health and development partners in Beijing.
Western business leaders visit China again
Speaking at GHDDI on Thursday, Gates said that China "has made significant gains reducing poverty and improving health outcomes within China."
"I'm hopeful China can play an even bigger role in addressing the current challenges, particularly those facing African countries," he added.
The meeting between Xi and Gates comes ahead of an expected visit to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase and Tesla's Elon Musk visited China last month.
Musk, who has extensive business in China, met officials in Beijing and Tesla staff members on the outskirts of Shanghai.
Apple CEO Tim Cook spent time in Beijing in March and said that his company enjoyed a "symbiotic" relationship with China.