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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 08:04, April 22, 2006
President Hu's visit to the Gates has great implications
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During his four day state visit to the United States starting from Tuesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao has visited Seattle and toured the Microsoft campus before a dinner at Bill Gates' lakeside mansion with about 100 guests.

As the world's richest man and Chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates is also one of the leaders in advanced science and technology and the founder of Microsoft Corporation, which has played and will continue to play a leading role in global technological and economic development. President Hu's visit to Bill Gate's home indicates at least three meanings.

First, to demonstrate Chinese government's determination in safeguarding fair trade and combating piracy. As the world's second largest PC market, China is an important target for international investors. Chinese government has been attaching great importance to software piracy problem. Many countries have been paying close attention to China in this regard. To increase the intensity of anti-piracy operations is in accordance with the demand of promoting the healthy development of domestic economic order as well as a graceful response to the goodwill of foreign investors.

Before Hu's visit, Ministry of Information Industry, National Copyright Administration, Ministry of Commerce, and Ministry of Finance jointly issued the "Notice of Installing Licensed Operating System Software on the China-made Computers" on April 10, requiring that all PCs manufactured within China will need to have a licensed operating system software installed before leaving the factory. For those imported computers to be sold in domestic market, licensed operating system software should also be installed before being sold. Computer producers and operating system software providers should submit in accordance with the provisions the quantity of the computers sold and the operating system software installed.

During his visit, Hu Jintao told Gates that he would like to see the cooperation between Microsoft and China and welcomed Microsoft in the future to increase investment in China. He emphasized that China will fulfill its promise on the protection of intellectual property rights.

In fact, China's anti-piracy actions directly promoted the trade volume between Chinese manufacturers and Microsoft. Three Chinese computer manufacturers will announce their plan to purchase Microsoft Windows systems with the total value of $400 million in the next three years. ����

Second, Hu's visit reflects Chinese leaders' respect to science and technology and the intellectuals. In accordance with Chinese tradition, home visit is a high-level courtesy. The Chinese government has always emphasized respect for knowledge and the talented people. Bill Gates is both a famous capitalist and a successful entrepreneur. He is also a typical representative of independent innovation. Chinese people are so familiar with his pioneering work and take delight in talking about him. In the eyes of young people, Gates has been regarded as a hero.

During his visit to Microsoft headquarters, Hu said that since Mr. Gates is a friend of China, he is a friend of Microsoft. He said to Mr. Gates, "I am using the operating system produced by Microsoft every day." Gates responded, "If you ever need advice on how to use Windows, I'll be glad to help." If not consider the broader context of Sino-US trade friction, this is like a dialogue between two old friends.

For the dinner, the guests were served with a three-course meal, starting with a smoked guinea fowl salad, a choice of beef filet with Walla Walla onions or Alaskan halibut spot prawns following by a dessert of rhubarb brown butter almond cake. To be simple, there were chicken, beef, shrimp, fish and cake. Although Americans have always treated their guests like this, in the eyes of Chinese people who regard Gates as an "intellectual entrepreneur", the dinner menu is quite similar to the traditional menu of a Chinese intellectual in entertaining his guests.

Third, Hu's visit reflects China's ambition to build an innovative nation.

On January 9, President Hu announced at the National Technology Conference that China will spent 15 years on building an innovative nation. Three months after the National Technology Conference, Hu took advantage of his state visit to the US and personally visited Microsoft headquarters to inspect Microsoft's advanced technology. The visit certainly bears a profound meaning.

There is no doubt that the construction of national innovation request structural and financial support. But at the same time, it is more important to create an "innovative culture" in the society. Recognition and respect for others scientific and technological achievements and the efforts in learning from the advanced experience of others should be the basic elements of a culture of innovation.

The meeting between the Chinese President and the leaders of Microsoft reflects an inheritance and development of Chinese cultural traditions as well as an actively absorbing and learning from the fine traditions of foreign cultures.

By People's Daily Online

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