SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hu Welcome Dinner at Gates House, Not White House


On April 18, 2006, "the FIRST lavish dinner of China President Hu Jintao's historic visit to the United States will be in a big, secure house in Washington where the host is one of he world's most powerful men." The dinner won't be held in the White House or in Washington D.C., but in Seattle Washington at the $100 million lakeside mansion of Microsoft Corporation founder and the world's richest man, Bill Gates.

The guest list at the lodge-style, 66,000 square-foot home overlooking Lake Washington is impressive, with 100 or so of the who's who in the U.S. Pacific Northwest power elite, including Starbucks Corporation Chairman Howard Shultz and Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire. With its reported seven bedrooms, six kitchens, 24 bathrooms, a domed library, a reception hall and an artificial estuary stocked with salmon a trout, the home is setting fit for a financial king and the luminaries come to celebrate and, of course, to make deals.

At least Bill Gates is getting some from China:

Like any good dinner guest, President Hu will not come empty handed. The Chinese government issued a decree two weeks ago that all PCs will need to have a licensed operating system software installed before leaving the factory gates in an effort to crack down on piracy.

As a result, three Chinese PC manufacturers announced plans to buy a total of over $400 million worth of Microsoft Windows operating system software over the next three years and Lenovo Group Ltd., China's largest PC maker, is expected to announce a similar deal on Monday, organizers said.


We wonder what other kinds of deals will be made at this illustrious party and what else will be on the agenda in later talks.

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