OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
6:25 PM – Wednesday, October 25, 2023
California Governor Gavin Newsom had a surprise meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing following years of heightened tensions between the United States and China.
The Wednesday meeting was met with criticism online as the relationship between the two countries has been turbulent in the past. The focus of the meeting between the California Democrat and Chinese leader was reportedly regarding climate change and fentanyl coming into the U.S. illegally.
Earlier in the day, Newsom addressed the widespread criticism during brief opening remarks ahead of his meeting with Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat. Newsom emphasized his “faith” in the future.
“I’m here in expectation, as you suggest, of turning the page, of renewing our friendship and reengaging [on] foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective faith in the future,” Newsom said, according to the Associated Press.
In regard to his meeting with the Chinese president, Newsom stated that they explored avenues to “accelerate our progress on climate change in meaningful and substantive ways.”
Some users on social media accused Newsom of being a hypocrite, by bringing attention to his climate emissions for the trip to China and how he was using air travel to get to the country, which is approximately 6,715 miles away from California.
The Democrat governor also mentioned their conversation on fentanyl — a synthetic drug and leading killer of young people in the U.S. —as well as China’s involvement in curtailing the trafficking of substances used in its production.
However, no specifics were mentioned on how these two issues would be addressed moving forward.
According to reports, Xi expressed hope that Newsom’s visit would foster an “enhanced mutual understanding” and promote the development of relations between the U.S. and China.
During a speech delivered at Hong Kong University on Monday, Newsom committed to “collaboration on climate change,” regardless of the results of the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
The governor also held a meeting with the leader of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the agency responsible for economic policies. During their meeting, they formally endorsed a memorandum aimed at strengthening collaboration in environmental matters.
Other governors of California have visited China before, including Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Jerry Brown, who created the California-China Climate Institute at the University of California, Berkley.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts