"China drove the first wave of extreme poverty reduction, and it was quite phenomenal how over about a 20-year period they drove the rate of extreme poverty down dramatically," Gates said during the second annual Goalkeepers event held in New York from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Goalkeepers is a campaign launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate progress toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, also known as Global Goals, a universal call to action to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change.
China has made an unprecedented contribution to reducing global poverty by lifting 700 million people out of poverty over the past 30 years, but rapid population growth in the poorest countries, particularly in Africa, could stall this progress, according to The Goalkeepers Data Report 2018 released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last week.
The world's priority for the next three decades should be a third wave of poverty reduction in Africa, which was preceded by the first wave in China and the second in India, the report said.
China is in the final stages of working to eradicate poverty by 2020, a pledge made in 2015 when there were about 70 million poor people.
Through unflinching commitment and measures including targeted poverty relief, strong financial support and bespoke development plans for rural areas, example, tourism, e-commerce and relocation, the number of poor people in China has continued to drop.
Official data showed that there were 30 million remaining by the end of 2017.
"It's impressive that China is putting a lot of resources into trying to drive the remaining extreme poverty to near zero," Gates said.
"There are a lot of lessons that come out of that. What did they (Chinese) do in the agriculture sector? what did they do with livestock, with health care?" Gates said, citing China's success in its fight with malaria and tuberculosis.
Gates said his foundation is working with China in poverty reduction through collaboration in the areas such as primary health care, agriculture and digital financial services.
The Microsoft founder also praised China for extending help to other poor countries, African countries in particular, in addition to its stellar poverty relief on the domestic front.
"China has just held the FOCAC summit, a lot of African leaders came (and participated). The strength of the relationship and the commitment of resource was very strong there. We think it's an impressive goal that we're trying to help with," Gates said.
During the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held early this month, China put forward eight initiatives and backed it up with a pledge of financing amounting to US$60 billion.
The latest pledge came after China had honored its 2015 promise to provide Africa with funding support totaling 60 billion dollars.
The eight initiatives cover areas including health care and green development.
At this year's Goalkeepers event, Dysmus Kisilu won Progress Award for his work in Kenya on increasing agricultural productivity for smallholder farmers.
Amika George was recognized with Campaign Award for her efforts to help girls from low-income families in Britain to access sanitary products.
Nadia Murad won Change-maker Award for transforming herself from a victim of ISIS atrocity to an activist speaking for the Yazidis.