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California Governor Gavin Newsom’s China Trip: Climate Change and Controversy

The Meeting and Declaration Signing

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently traveled to China to meet with President Xi Jinping and sign a joint cooperative declaration on climate change. During the meeting, they discussed climate action, economic development, cultural exchange, and democracy. However, Newsom clarified in a press conference that his talk with Jinping was limited to climate change and fentanyl.

Human Rights Concerns

Newsom brought up human rights issues with China’s foreign minister, but the state’s Republican congressional delegation expressed concerns that he did not address them with Jinping. In a letter, they demanded Newsom speak to Jinping about the Chinese Communist Party’s documented genocide of ethnic minorities and the nation’s opioid crisis driven by PRC sourced fentanyl precursors.

California-China Trade Relationship

Newsom emphasized the desire to strengthen the $166 billion two-way trade relationship between California and China and the need to open lines of communication and commerce in key California industries, notably high-tech innovation and agriculture. However, China is known for its widespread use of illicit tactics for stealing American technological and agricultural innovations to advance domestic production.

Controversy Over the Trip

California’s Republican congressional delegation criticized Newsom’s trip to China as “endorsing Beijing manufacturing” and accused him of ignoring China’s human rights abuses. In response, Newsom’s office stated that the trip was important for California’s economic development and a way to address climate change.

Overall Thoughts

While some may question the appropriateness of Newsom’s visit to China, it is important to note that building relationships with other countries and promoting economic development can have long-term benefits for California and the United States. However, it is also important to address human rights concerns and to ensure that trade deals are fair and equitable.

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