BANGKOK, Oct. 25 (AP) California Gov. Gavin Newsom had a surprise meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday after being warmly welcomed by other leaders in a show of friendliness that contrasts sharply with the dialogue between the United States. and China in recent years.
The governor is on a week-long tour of China to promote climate cooperation. Newsom’s gubernatorial trip, once considered routine, is drawing attention because it comes after years of rising tensions between the US and China.
“I am here in anticipation, as you suggest, of turning the page, renewing our friendship, and re-engaging with the fundamental and fundamental issues that determine our collective faith in the future,” Newsom said in brief opening remarks before he met with Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, at the beginning of the day.
Although Newsom is here to push an agenda for climate cooperation, Chinese officials took the opportunity in welcoming speeches before the closed-door meetings to talk about US-China relations as Wang prepares to visit the US on Thursday.
Newsom and Xi discussed ways to “accelerate our progress on climate in meaningful and substantial ways,” the California governor said at a news conference but did not elaborate.
They also talked about fentanyl, a synthetic drug and the leading killer of young people in the U.S., and China’s role in combating the transnational movement of precursor chemicals, Newsom said.
According to Chinese state television CCTV, Xi Jinping told Newsom: “I hope your visit will strengthen mutual understanding between the two sides and play a positive role in expanding China-California cooperation and promoting the healthy and stable development of China-US relations.” may attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco next month and meet with President Joe Biden, although China has not formally confirmed his attendance.
Newsom will visit Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu. In a speech at the University of Hong Kong on Monday, he pledged to continue cooperation on climate change regardless of the outcome of the next US presidential election.
He said he raised human rights issues with Wang and the two also discussed Taiwan, a red-line issue for Beijing. China claims the island as part of its territory.
“I have expressed my support for the one-China policy … as well as our desire not to see independence,” Newsom said, referring to official US policy that recognizes the Communist Party as China’s ruling government. The US does not officially recognize Taiwan but is its biggest unofficial ally.
Wang, the head of the Communist Party’s Foreign Affairs Bureau, said he knows Newsom’s trip has attracted plenty of criticism, but that he views the trip positively.
“But I think time and facts will certainly show that your visit to China is in line with the wishes of California and in line with the interests of the American people and the expectations of global society.” Newsom also met with Vice President Han Zheng on Wednesday, who greeted him with a big smile and called him an “old friend.” Han is a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee, an elite group of leaders within the party.
“The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and sub-national cooperation is an indispensable part of facilitating the healthy and sustainable growth of China-US relations,” Han said.
“I am confident that your week-long trip will add positive energy to the development of China-US relations.” Newsom also met with the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the government-level agency responsible for economic policy. They signed a memorandum on deepening cooperation in environmental issues.
Image Source: Chron