An editorial in the September 6 edition of Shanghai’s Oriental Morning Post took Chinese billionaires to task for apparently refusing an invitation from Microsoft founder Bill Gates to attend a banquet to be held in Beijing on September 29. Gates and investment baron Warren Buffett, who jointly initiated the Giving Pledge campaign, calling on the world’s wealthiest people to give at least half of their fortunes to philanthropy, both planned to attend the September 29 banquet. The Oriental Morning Post editorial said:

Those rich Chinese who refused invitations by Gates and Buffett didn’t do so just because they are shy. Actually, they don’t want to be exposed before the public, and don’t want their wealth to become a topic of debate. Even less do they want a link made between fortune and charity that they have no way of controlling. Saying that China’s rich cannot face charity frankly and openly isn’t as to the point as saying that they don’t dare be truthful in facing how they got rich in the first place.

In this cartoon, by artist Jiang Lidong (蒋立冬), Bill Gates is pictured ringing the doorbell of a Chinese billionaire, enthusiastically holding up a card that reads “Invitation.” The Chinese billionaire cowers behind the door, peaking through the peep-hole.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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