California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, recently visited China and met with President Xi Jinping. However, he addressed human rights concerns separately with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, following guidance from the Biden administration.
The primary focus of Newsom’s visit was to discuss climate change issues, reflecting his role as the governor of a significant U.S. state and economy. In an interview with Fox Los Angeles reporter Elex Michaelson, Newsom explained that the separate meeting with the Foreign Minister was chosen as a more suitable setting for a detailed discussion on human rights, democracy, Taiwan, and broader international policy matters.
Newsom emphasized the importance of focusing on climate change and low-carbon growth during his limited time with President Xi, aligning with President Joe Biden’s prioritization of environmental issues. Biden has previously underscored the severity of global warming, considering it a more significant existential threat than nuclear war.
During a press call, Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted the remarkable progress of China’s electric vehicle (EV) market, observing its significant advancement and substantial investments in offshore wind energy. He noted that China has reached an advanced stage in these sectors.
Addressing California’s ongoing efforts to enhance its clean energy initiatives and maintain a swift pace in implementing these technologies, Newsom acknowledged that the state could gain valuable insights from China’s approach. He pointed out that China is a global frontrunner in rapidly deploying clean energy infrastructure and electric transportation, setting a benchmark in these fields.
In a summary following Governor Newsom’s trip, his office made a significant statement, asserting that “the future of global climate efforts is heavily dependent on collaboration with China.”
Additionally, the visit aligns with Newsom’s potential national political aspirations. Despite his current denial of any intentions to run for President in 2024, his activities, including events in traditionally Republican states, have been interpreted as efforts to increase his national recognition beyond California.
These moves have fueled speculation about his potential candidacy, especially amidst ongoing concerns about President Biden’s age and electability. Newsom, for now, maintains his position as a strong supporter of Biden’s reelection.