China's wealthy consider philanthropy

Sept. 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM
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BEIJING, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A well-known Chinese philanthropist says he intends to donate half of his fortune and all his property to charity after his death.

Chen Guangbiao, the CEO of a resources recycling company in east Jiangsu Province, published a letter directed at fellow philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett declaring his intent to follow them and other wealthy individuals in donating to charities, China's Peoples Daily reported.

"When I leave this world, I will not only donate half of the wealth, but will donate all my property to a charity organization," he said in the letter posted on his company's Web site.

The letter comes after the Chinese director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation denied that the upcoming trip of Gates and Buffett to China in late September had the express aim of persuading Chinese billionaires to make charity pledges, the China Daily reported.

The duo recently initiated the Giving Pledge campaign, a call for the most affluent families and individuals in the United States to donate at least 50 percent of their fortune to philanthropy in their lifetimes or soon after their deaths.

Gates and Buffet announced in August that their action was backed by 40 Americans.

In China, 50 wealthy Chinese received an invitation to a banquet with Buffett and Gates during their visit to Beijing on Sept 29.

Some reportedly hesitated to accept because they were worried that the cost of the evening would be charity pledges, China Daily said.

Ye Lei, the China office chief for the Gates Foundation, said the two had no desire to urge Chinese tycoons to make such pledges.

"They're coming here to see whether in the future there might be some opportunities for cooperation or the establishment of a charitable coalition," Ye said.

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