Gates, Buffett dine with China's rich for charity‎

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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett met in Beijing Wednesday with 50 businessmen and philanthropists in China to share their own experiences with and enthusiasm for philanthropy, said a statement from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Beijing Representative Office.

"The meeting was a complete success," the press release quoted Buffett as saying after the meeting.

The meeting, co-organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Sun Culture Foundation (SCF), was presided over by SCF Chairwoman Yang Lan. It took place at the Chateau Laffitte Hotel.

A reception dinner was held after the 90-minute meeting.

"Our hopes for this meeting were to learn about giving in China, and share our own views," said Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, according to the press release. "By any measure, it was a tremendous success. We had a terrific exchange of views, and learned a great deal about the good work that is already underway."

"We've both been very eager to have this meeting," Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chairman of Microsoft Corporation, said in the press release.

"We're grateful so many people made the time to attend, and for their candor and insights," Gates said. "People are doing some very good thinking about how their good fortune can have a positive impact on China and the world."

Buffett said in the press release that "this is a key generation for New China."

"Today's generation of successful entrepreneurs has the chance to lead and inspire giving for generations to come. And from the tone of our conversations, I am confident that they will," he said.

At Buffett and Gates's request, the guest list was not made public.

Recently, 40 wealthy families in the United States agreed to participate in the Giving Pledge. It is a commitment by wealthy families to return the majority of their wealth to society through philanthropy -- during their lifetime or at their death.

According to the press release, Gates and Buffett spoke of the Giving Pledge effort briefly at the Beijing meeting, but stressed that China needs its own unique approach, suited to its unique situation, to promote charity.

"Recently, Bill and I wrote that we expected China to surprise the world in how it embraces philanthropy," Buffett added in the press release. "Hearing about the giving that happens at every level of society in modern China was inspiriting."

"If Bill and I could contribute to encouraging the very fortunate to follow their desire to do more, then our trip was a complete success," Buffett said.

Gates and Buffett also accepted an invitation of a Chinese charity, the China Social Welfare Education Foundation (CSWEF), to become its advisors.

The American billionaires also expressed their concern and support to the CSWEF and the Chinese philanthropy, according to a statement from the CSWEF on Wednesday.

Gates and Buffett's joining as advisors of the CSWEF would bring renewed enlightenment to China's charity and hopefully their experiences and passion in charity would be shared and promoted, said Miao Li, vice-chairwoman of the CSWEF.

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