Gates, Buffett Discuss Philanthropy With Chinese U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett presented their case for charitable giving to wealthy Chinese Thursday. They claimed it a tremendous success. For weeks, rumors have swirled about miserly Chinese millionaires refusing to meet the pair, for fear of having to part with their cash.
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Gates, Buffett Discuss Philanthropy With Chinese

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Gates, Buffett Discuss Philanthropy With Chinese

Gates, Buffett Discuss Philanthropy With Chinese

Gates, Buffett Discuss Philanthropy With Chinese

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U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett presented their case for charitable giving to wealthy Chinese Thursday. They claimed it a tremendous success. For weeks, rumors have swirled about miserly Chinese millionaires refusing to meet the pair, for fear of having to part with their cash.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

NPR's Louisa Lim explains why.

LOUISA LIM: Perhaps sensitive to accusations of philanthropic imperialism, Warren Buffett was eager to dispel rumors of coercion, even promising not to strong-arm donations over the telephone.

WARREN BUFFETT: No one was asked in any way - directly or indirectly - to sign up to anything last night. And we - Bill and I, will not be calling anybody. What happens in China will depend on how the Chinese people feel about a project of this sort.

LIM: So far, only two Chinese millionaires have been moved to publicly pledge their fortunes to charity. Gates says there were generous gifts at the meal and lots of debate.

BILL GATES: Thirty years ago, there really weren't people of great wealth, and so what you have is first generation fortunes. So it's natural that they're thinking through, in this society in general, what do you do in terms of giving it away, creating a foundation, what do you do with your children?

LIM: Rupert Hoogewerf compiles a list of rich Chinese. He says this trip has at least got people talking.

RUPERT HOOGEWERF: These entrepreneurs, on average - for our rich list - its 51 years old, 15 years younger than their U.S. counterparts. The real effect that this Warren Buffett/Bill Gates trip is going to - brought - is going to have pushed the whole concept of philanthropy into all the MBA schools and CEO forums. They've made it into a big topic. I think it's fantastic.

LIM: Louisa Lim, NPR News, Beijing.

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