Gavin Newsom Pledges California Will Be Xi Jinping’s ‘Long-Term, Stable, and Strong Partner’

In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 and released by Office of the Governor of Cal
Office of the Governor of California via AP

Chinese state media continued to gush over visiting California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, hailing the Democrat’s warm meeting with dictator Xi Jinping as a triumph of “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation.”

Newsom said that under his leadership, California is ready to become “China’s long-term, stable, and strong partner.”

The state-run Global Times lauded Newsom’s meeting with Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing as a milestone in improving U.S.-China relations, a sentiment Newsom reportedly reciprocated:

Newsom said that no other bilateral relationship is more important than the one between the US and China, and the US-China relationship is vital to the future of the US and bears on the well-being of its people. 

Newsom said he is willing to push California to strengthen exchanges with China and seek closer cooperation in fields such as climate change and new energy. California is willing to be China’s long-term, stable and strong partner, he added.

As the first US governor to visit China in more than four years, Newsom expressed his high appreciation for relations with China and recalled the first sister cities established between China and the US in 1980: Shanghai and San Francisco. He hopes to contribute to the resumption of exchanges and cooperation between China and the US, CGTN reported on Wednesday.

CGTN is the China Global Television Network, another Communist state-run media operation.

A good deal of Newsom’s enthusiasm for doing business with China revolved around climate change, electric vehicles (EV), and green energy technology. 

After taking a ride in a Chinese-built EV, Newsom proclaimed it was “another leap in technology, the next-level leap,” and flashed thumbs-up at reporters. When a reporter asked if he wanted one of the cars, Newsom replied, “No, I want two”:

The EV in question was manufactured by BYD, a Chinese company that Newsom praised in 2020 for sending N95 masks to California, shortly after China sent the coronavirus to the rest of the world.

China Foreign Affairs University Professor Li Haidong repeated the hope, expressed in much of Chinese state media throughout Newsom’s visit, that the far-left California governor will drag the Biden administration in a more pro-China direction.

Li said Newsom could “help create correct conditions for the U.S. to form a correct understanding of China, when the White House is saturated by toxic hostility.”

The Global Times quoted other “Chinese experts” who cited the Biden administration’s reaction to the Chinese spy balloon as an example of that “toxic hostility,” without mentioning that might have been a little toxic of Beijing to fly a spy balloon over the United States in the first place.

weather balloon

Chinese spy balloon with inset of Xi Jiping (Screenshot, Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

The article was also stuffed with complaints about the latest Pentagon report on China’s growing nuclear stockpile, America standing behind the Philippines in its South China Sea dispute with China, and U.S. trade sanctions, all of which were implicitly presented as issues where Newsom would be more likely to see things China’s way than Biden.

Newsom came out firmly against decoupling from China by moving supply chains to other countries, proclaiming “divorce is not an option” for the U.S. and China after his meeting with Xi, although he defended “derisking” – companies creating a few alternative supply lines to reduce their complete dependency on China – as “nothing more than diversification.”

“We’ve got to turn down the heat. We’ve got to manage our strategic differences. We’ve got to reconcile our strategic red lines,” he told CNN on Wednesday.

Newsom said Xi expressed “anxiety” about U.S. export controls on advanced computer technologies, but touted his own presence in Beijing as evidence that a “thawing” in relations has begun.

“We’re entering, I hope, a new phase,” he said.


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