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Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - Page updated at 01:01 PM

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Hu calls Gates "a friend of China"

Associated Press pool report

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates told Chinese President Hu Jintao the company is at "just the very beginning of what's possible" in technology, and then showed him some of what may lie ahead.

Hu's visit included a tour of Microsoft's Home of the Future, which features experimental technology that might someday be used in people's living spaces. In one demonstration, a vase with a radio frequency identification tag was placed on a display, prompting the display to show pictures of areas where Hu has worked and lived.

In the kitchen, the counter displayed a recipe and instructions in Chinese for making foccacia bread, prompting Hu to ask if you still need a housekeeper if you have RFID tags.

Later, watching a demonstration on a Tablet PC of research being done in Asia, Hu noted that it is difficult to type equations, and being able to write with a stylus makes it easier to do such work on a computer.

Hu later was greeted by elementary school children from Seattle's John Stanford International School. At another demonstration of the Tablet PC, Hu wrote for the children, in Chinese, "Long live the China-American friendship."

He then said "thank you" to the children in English.

Later he said to Gates: "I admire what you have achieved at Microsoft," Hu said.

"Because you, Mr. Bill Gates, are a friend of China, I'm a friend of Microsoft," he said.

"Also, I am dealing with the operating system produced by Microsoft every day," he added, amid laughter.

"I certainly look forward to the extension of your cooperation with China," Hu said.

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Hu also said he would certainly welcome a further increase in Microsoft's investment in China.

"I'd also like to take this opportunity to assure you, Bill Gates, that we will certainly our words in protecting intellectual property rights," Hu said.

Gates responded: "Thank you, it's a fantastic relationship. And if you ever need advice on how to use Windows, I'll be glad to help."

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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