Multibil­lion­aire sug­gests more health im­prove­ment ef­forts in B&R Ini­tia­tive

China Daily - - CHINA - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­

Mi­crosoft founder Bill Gates said it’s a great honor for him to be elected into the Chi­nese Academy of En­gi­neer­ing, and he would take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity to com­mu­ni­cate with Chi­nese aca­demi­cians to im­prove the world.

The 63-year-old US multibil­lion­aire and phi­lan­thropist made the re­marks dur­ing an on­line in­ter­view with Chi­nese me­dia ear­lier this month be­fore Bill and his wife Melinda on Tues­day re­leased their 2018 an­nual let­ter, ti­tled “The 10 Tough­est Ques­tions We Get”.

The ques­tions range from ed­u­ca­tion to their val­ues, the African pop­u­la­tion, Trump’s for­eign aid pol­icy and cli­mate change.

In De­cem­ber, Gates be­came a for­eign mem­ber of China’s top sci­en­tific think tank. He is chair­man of Ter­raPower, a nu­clear re­ac­tor de­sign com­pany he co-founded in 2008.

To help cut back on green­house gases, the com­pany has been work­ing with China on fourth-gen­er­a­tion nu­clear power tech­nol­ogy, which pro­po­nents ad­ver­tise as be­ing safer and cleaner.

In Oc­to­ber, Ter­raPower signed a joint ven­ture with China Na­tional Nu­clear Cor­po­ra­tion to work to­gether to com­plete the Trav­el­ing Wave Re­ac­tor de­sign and com­mer­cial­ize clean nu­clear tech­nol­ogy, a new op­tion for civil­ian nu­clear en­ergy de­signed to bet­ter ad­dress safety, the en­vi­ron­ment and cost con­cerns.

“It is a pri­vate sec­tor thing. The mar­ket can work be­cause the mar­ket for en­ergy is very large,” he said dur­ing the in­ter­view.

He also rec­og­nized that poor farm­ers are the most vul­ner­a­ble to cli­mate change. As the en­ergy in­no­va­tion ini­tia­tive can­not work quickly enough to help them out, “the Bill and Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion de­cides to help ed­u­cate farm­ers, to help them with soil map­ping, bet­ter seeds, fer­til­iz­ing — the meth­ods that can have in­stant, dra­matic im­pact on

China is def­i­nitely lis­ten­ing to what other coun­tries’ needs are.”

Bill Gates, founder of Mi­crosoft the poor”, he added.

Re­gard­ing the fight against dis­ease and poverty world­wide, Gates also re­as­sured his foun­da­tion’s part­ner­ship with China in ar­eas of re­search and de­vel­op­ment for new global health dis­cov­er­ies.

The foun­da­tion now has an in­sti­tute in Bei­jing, work­ing on de­vel­op­ing new drugs to cure tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, one of the top 10 causes of death world­wide, he said.

There are huge op­por­tu­ni­ties here be­cause of China’s grow­ing sci­en­tific strength, in both ba­sic re­search and at the in­vest­ment level, Gates added.

No­tably, he sug­gested the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment in­clude some health im­prove­ment Wang Xiaoyu con­trib­uted to this story.

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