Bill Gates Praises China: ‘They’ve Done A Very Good Job’
Microsoft founder, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates delivers a speech during the conference of Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria on october 10, 2019, in Lyon, central eastern France. - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria opened a drive to raise $14 billion to fight a global epidemics but face an uphill battle in the face of donor fatigue.
LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s fifth-richest man, thinks that Communist China should be praised for the way it has handled poverty.

New York Times Magazine columnist David Wallace-Wells, the author of “The Uninhabitable Earth,” opined that progress on poverty around the globe “has been really remarkable.” Asserting that said progress reflected “progress in China,” he asked Gates if the trend toward eradicating poverty would continue since China has “sort of finished eradicating real poverty.”

If you’re allowed to say the truth about things in China, they’ve done a very good job,” Gates responded. “They’re now a middle-income country, in fact, one of the wealthier middle-income countries.”

In 2018, an article written by a professor of economics at Peking University, Beijing and a then PhD scholar at Peking University surmised that China had initially used a repressive financial policy in order to stimulate the economy.

The article stated that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) was still guiding commercial banks’ settings of deposit and lending rates, adding that “repressive financial policies have not stopped China from achieving rapid economic growth,” but that “economic growth has decelerated and systemic financial risks have escalated sharply.”

In March 2021, NPR noted that extreme poverty was defined by China as making less than $2.30 per day in contrast to the World Bank’s suggested poverty line of making less $5.50 per day for China’s upper middle-income category.

“China still has around 13% of its population falling below that line, or close to 200 million people,” the World Bank’s Martin Raiser pointed out.

NPR correspondent John Ruwitch, who covers Chinese affairs, added, “But for Xi Jinping, proclaiming victory over extreme poverty is propaganda gold.”

In February 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China had eliminated extreme poverty the previous year.

“According to the current criteria, all 98.99 million poor rural population have been taken out of poverty, and 832 poverty-stricken counties as well as 128,000 villages have been removed from the poverty list,” he stated.

Some critics of China have pointed out that China’s campaign to eliminate poverty ignored a root cause of rural poverty: poor rural education. Some research has shown a school drop rate of up to 63% for rural students before the end of high school, according to The Diplomat.

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