China’s rise to a leading economy in recent decades has been “a huge win for the world,” but the U.S. and China currently face a lose-lose mentality in their relations, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates said at a forum in Australia on Monday.
“I do think the current mentality of the U.S. to China — and which is reciprocated — is kind of a lose-lose mentality,” Gates said.
“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 (and) the solution of climate change, 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.”
“I’m very aligned with (Australia’s former prime minister) Kevin Rudd on this,” Gates said. “In the U.S., we’d be in a minority, where people are kind of hawkish. I think that could be self-fulfilling in a very negative way.”
“I tend to see China’s rise as a huge win for the world,” said Gates, who also addressed questions about the Covid-19 pandemic, energy, the Ukraine and other topics at an event organized by the Lowy Institute. (Click here for the full discussion.)
Ties between the U.S. and China have been strained over geopolitical issues – most notably Taiwan – as well as trade disagreements.
Gates, 67, has a fortune worth $103.2 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today.
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