The philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder discusses China’s rise and its role in the world.
A big part of Bill Gates’ post-Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Free Report life has been running a foundation to promote health and welfare in parts of the world that need it most.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in 2000.
“We work together with businesses, government, and nonprofits, and each partner plays a specific role in accelerating progress,” the foundation’s website says.
“Our mission is to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life,” it continues.
Gates often gives talks on world affairs, discussing the work of the foundation as well as offering opinions about other current events.
Gates Discusses China’s Growth
In remarks this week at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, Gates talked about the global response to covid and then touched on some of his thoughts about China’s relatively recently thriving world economy.
“China has gone from in 1980 being incredibly impoverished, poorer than India. I mean literally, with starvation, malnutrition, to being the most wealthy middle-income country in the world, and it’s 1.4 billion people,” said Gates. “It’s incredible, and it’s great for the world.”
Gates then compares China with the U.S. and Australia (where he was speaking) in terms of their relative wealth compared to population.
“Countries like Australia, U.S., we have per capita GDPs five times what the Chinese have, so we have a disproportionate share of the world’s economy.”
He also laments a bit about the unfortunate state of relations between China and the U.S.
“I do think the current mentality of the U.S. to China, and which is reciprocated, is kind of a lose-lose mentality,” he suggested. “That if you ask U.S. politicians, ‘Hey, would you like the Chinese economy to shrink by 20% or grow by 20%?’ I’m afraid they would vote that, ‘Yeah, let’s immiserate those people,’ not understanding that for the global economy, the invention of cancer drugs, the solution of climate change, you know, we’re all in this together.”
“We’re humans, we innovate together and we have to change the modern industrial economy together in a pretty dramatic fashion,” Gates added.