Bill Gates speaks at Peking University in Beijing, on March 24, 2017. Photo: China Daily
As China has made great contribution to the world development in the past decade, there are great opportunities in four areas including health, agriculture, energy and technology where China’s young generation could use their education and passion to promote the development of both China and the world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on Friday in Beijing.
“This is a pretty incredible time to be a young person in China. Your generation’s entrance into the work force will coincide with your country’s rise as a center of global progress and innovation,” Gates said during a speech at the elite Peking University.
China has become one of the world’s leaders in the field of renewable energy and has recently announced to spend $360 billion in this field by 2020, according to Gates, which would bring great opportunities to both China and the world.
In the meantime, the challenge for China is to find out the right mix of technologies and manage the reliability of the new large transmission grid, all of which will be needed to manage the very complex way to meet the growing energy needs, he said.
One element of the system will be the next generation of nuclear technology, which could be drastically safer and substantially cheaper, and solve a lot of challenges with today’s technology. And the Terra Power founded by Gates is working with China National Nuclear Corporation and other Chinese companies to make this a reality, he said.
Meanwhile, China’s young people should also pay attention to the development of the health sector, according to Gates.
The country’s outstanding scientists and huge ability in developing and inventing medicine and vaccines have encouraged the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to partner with the Chinese government to establish the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) in Beijing, in an effort to develop new life-saving medicines.
The foundation has also developed partnership with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) to bring in more experts so that more of China’s health products can be made accessible to the entire world including the developing countries, according to Gates.
Founded in 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s focus in China has been on the most persistent health challenges including reducing tuberculosis and tobacco-related diseases, preventing HIV transmission and improving the treatment and care of AIDs patients.
In addition, Gates said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also working with China’s Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Agriculture to promote the sustainable development of agriculture in Africa.
Another area which China could promote world development is agriculture, he said, adding that the most important factor driving China’s recent “green revolution” is the country’s commitment to agricultural innovation and outstanding experts like Yuan Longping who invented the hybrid rice which has largely improved the productivity of rice in China.
Beyond that, Gates also encouraged Chinese students to make more efforts in software development. He said he was impressed by China’s young computer scientists and researchers since he was still working for Microsoft years ago, which encouraged him to establish the Microsoft Research Lab Asia about two decades ago, which is Microsoft’s largest research institution outside America and now has more than 200 researchers from around the world and over 300 visiting scholars and internships.
The Microsoft Research Lab Asia has recruited over 5,000 interns in China in the past few years, and is also dedicated to support software researchers striving to succeed on this path, Gates said.
The biggest advantage of Microsoft Research is that it allows researchers here to discover the areas that they themselves are most interested in, according to Gates, because only in this way can scientific breakthroughs be made in the end.