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China to contribute more to world’s innovation: Bill Gates

Updated: Jan 25,2016 10:40 AM     Xinhua

DAVOS — With a strong ambition to promote science and research, China is going to contribute more and more to the world’s innovation, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said.

In an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2016, Gates said China would probably become a huge participant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,which is already under way and bringing a fast and disruptive change for most industries.

Talking about the new revolution, Gates believed the digital revolution, something he spent most of his life working on, was a huge factor.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to the ongoing transformation of our society and economy,driven by advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology and other areas of science.

“An industrial revolution is coming to increase productivity very dramatically,” Gates said. “It creates opportunities, and it creates challenges.”

New technology changes would free some labor, so that people can do more in the culture sector, according to Gates.

He said China had built some advantages in science and technology through its educational system, and the country had a strong will to promote its contribution in different science sectors.

“China obviously has a lot of people and a lot of smart people,” Gates said. “Not only a lot of people college-educated, but also a lot of engineers with the quality of engineering skills.”

“With the recognition that people have done something that they can be rewarded for that, many experts have been led to have new companies, in IT sector, biology, robots and other of those things.”

“China is going to carry its weight,” he said.

In recent years, the former Internet elite has been dedicated to driving innovation in global health and development. As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates decided to join forces with China’s Tsinghua University to establish the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute(GHDDI) in Beijing during his Davos visit.

“China has made incredible progress in reducing poverty and shares the foundation’s commitment to harnessing advances in science and technology to address the critical health challenges affecting the world’s poorest people,” Gates said.

“We are excited about GHDDI’s potential to drive innovation in global health research and development, and look forward to partnering with Tsinghua University on our continued work to address the world’s most pressing global health challenges.”

In an article released during WEF, Gates pledged his foundation would invest more in innovation in the coming years. He told Xinhua that the investment that went to China’s innovation was expected to increase gradually.

Asked whether he worried about China’s economic slowdown, which may hinder innovation progress, Gates said he was quite optimistic about China’s economic outlook.

“I have a lot of confidence in China, partly because they take a long-term view, and partly because they look at what other countries are doing,” he said.

Faced with a challenge of turning the economy into new directions, Gates said China had great talent to achieve its goal.

“Most countries would envy a 6.9 percent growth, I think China has a bright future,” he said, adding, “China is going to be contributing more and more to the world’s innovation.”