Wed, Aug 25, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Gates and Buffett take philanthropic mission to China

AFP , BEIJING

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — who persuaded 40 US billionaires to donate a fortune to charity — will meet a select group of wealthy individuals in China next month, a spokesperson said yesterday.

Microsoft mogul Gates and investment guru Buffett launched a project in June called “The Giving Pledge” aimed at convincing billionaires across the US to give up most of their money — 50 percent or more — to a good cause.

FORTY FORTUNES

Just six weeks later, 40 wealthy individuals and their families — including CNN founder Ted Turner and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — pledged to hand over more than half of their fortunes.

A spokesperson for the project, who refused to be named, said yesterday that while Gates and Buffett were planning to visit China next month, the Giving Pledge effort was still focused on the US for now.

GLOBAL RESONANCE

“However, Warren, Bill and Melinda [Gates’ wife] have been talking about giving and philanthropy with groups of people around the world over the past year and are planning to do more of it this year,” the spokesperson said. “The basic idea — that those with great wealth can and should devote that wealth to efforts to leave the world a better place — has resonance around the globe.”

China has the second-highest number of US dollar billionaires in the world after the US, according to Forbes magazine, and one of them has already preceded Buffett and Gates’ project by donating his fortune to charity.

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