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Gates, Buffett say China visit aims to share philanthropic experiences, not to pressure people to give

09-14-2010 15:33 BJT

BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Bill Gates and Warren Buffett said on Tuesday that they would come to China later in the month to share their experiences on philanthropy, denying speculation that they would pressure people to give.

"Some people have wondered if we're coming to China to pressure people to give. Not at all," the two richest Americans told Xinhua in a response letter on the banquet for Chinese billionaires sponsored by them, which is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Amid concerns that the two big shots -- who initiated "The Giving Pledge" project in June to persuade U.S. billionaires to give most of their wealth to charity -- would pressure wealthy Chinese to donate, only a small number of Chinese businessmen had accepted as of last week the invitation to the banquet, which caused a stir about the willingness of China's rich to give.

Gates and Buffett explained in the letter "one part of that trip we are looking forward to is the opportunity to sit down with a number of successful business people and philanthropists to learn about philanthropy in China and to share some of our own experiences about the impact giving can have on society and our world."

They said they know that the Giving Pledge is just one approach to philanthropy, and do not know if it's the right path forward for China.

"Our trip is fundamentally about learning, listening, and responding to those who express an interest in our own experiences. China's circumstances are unique, and so its approach to philanthropy will be, as well."

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