Are Gates, others paving the way for foreign investment in China?
Ross Feingold, a political risk analyst, says recent visits from Tesla's Elon Musk, JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, and Apple's Tim Cook were all motivated by enticing Chinese buyers.
According to Ross Feingold, a political risk analyst, Bill Gates' recent visit to China is not surprising.
Feingold told Sputnik that as soon as China eased its Covid-19 restrictions on travelers, Gates jumped at the chance. According to the World Tourism Organization, "There appears to be a lot of pent-up demand" to visit the PRC after the country abandoned its Covid-19 regulations in late 2022.
The Chinese President and Microsoft's co-founder expressed optimism that their relationship would continue, while Xi specifically noted that Gates was the "first American friend" he met in Beijing so far this year.
Feingold stated that Gates' positive comments about China's pandemic handling come as "no surprise that as soon as there was an opportunity to do so, he would visit China and seek to expand joint initiatives between institutions in the PRC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."
The analyst added that "when Gates talks, people listen, and during his trip to China, and after meeting Xi, he has said positive things about the PRC’s contributions to public health."
Feingold recalled that the Gates Foundation announced it would give $50 million to the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI), a Gates Foundation-founded organization situated in China, the Beijing municipal government and Tsinghua University, "to improve health outcomes worldwide through lifesaving therapies for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria, which disproportionately affect the world’s poorest."
According to him, "Someone as influential as Gates will continue to be a friend to China," Feingold said, alluding to Beijing's attempts to "send the message to the global business community that the PRC welcomes foreign investment."
While questioned if Gates sought personal interests or worked as a form of ambassador while meeting with Xi, the analyst pointed out that after leaving the board of Microsoft in 2020, the billionaire has focused on charity endeavors, particularly public health.
The analyst noted that the billionaire seldom shares his views on making money but rather usually makes comments on technology issues like artificial intelligence, concluding that Gate's visit is "primarily about public health and the Gates Foundation cooperation with partners in China," the analyst underlined.
This year, a number of American business executives have traveled to China, praising its sizable market and the strong trade links that exist between the two global economic giants.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon visited China in recent weeks, as did Tesla CEO Elon Musk; his first visit in more than three years.
In March, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Beijing, stressing his company enjoyed "symbiotic" ties with China.
Feingold concluded that the purpose of all these excursions was to entice Chinese buyers.
"Even with recent data indicating slow economic growth in China, multinational corporations, including many from the United States and Western Europe, still hope to make money from China's enormous spending power."