The governor of California raises his international profile with a meeting in China with Xi Jinping | International

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The governor of California, Democrat Gavin Newsom, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Do you want to be Gavin Newsom president of the United States? The question has gained relevance this week after the governor of California concluded an international tour. In one week, the local president met with two world leaders. First with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, in the middle of the conflict with Hamas and then a trip to Asia culminated with a meeting with Xi Jinping. He became the first US governor to visit the Asian giant's capital in four years. The meeting, held this Wednesday, takes place at a time of growing tension between Washington and Beijing caused by the opening of several flanks that have geopolitically confronted the powers.

“We have to engage with China again, not with closed fists, but with an open hand,” Newsom said after his meeting with Xi in an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour. The governor stated that he believes that his reception at the palace, a meeting to which the American press was prevented, is a sign of a new phase between American politicians and the authorities of the communist party. “The relationship in the past has been very stressful, we have to lower the temperature a little and manage our strategic differences and reconcile our strategic boundaries, which have been well established by the two countries,” he added. In short, he said that divorce cannot be the option between the powers.

Newsom has been saying for months that he is not interested in the race for the White House. Some analysts, particularly conservatives, believe that the politician could join as a last-minute candidate in the race. This is if Biden, who has seen his popularity plummet and is criticized for his age, decides not to run for re-election. Others consider that the governor, who does not represent any authority in foreign policy, is trying to raise his international profile with trips like this week's, where he has abandoned the national script to enter the global agenda.

The local leader, who has a popularity that is close to 60% but is little known outside his State, surprised last week by bringing forward the start of his tour to make a surprise stop in Tel Aviv. He arrived in this city minutes after 4:00 a.m. on Friday, October 20. His stay, lasting just a few hours, followed that of President Joe Biden, who met with the Israeli prime minister on October 18, eleven days after the attack carried out by Hamas on Israeli soil.

“I needed to do something besides put out a statement condemning the attack,” Newsom told CNN. In just a couple of events, he met with survivors of the Islamist militia offensive and with the family of a 23-year-old young man of Californian origin who is among the more than 220 kidnapped by Hamas. He also delivered medical equipment and supplies to care for the wounded in hospitals. “I represent the largest state in the country, an economy that alone would be the fifth largest in the world, but I also represent a state that has the second largest population of American Jews,” Newsom said this week, who says he is in favor of the solution of the two States.

In this way, the 56-year-old governor joined a small group of Americans who have been a close witness to the conflict that is shaking the Middle East. Before him, in addition to Biden, were five senators, including Senate leader Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, and some Republican legislators, such as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Bill Cassidy, Representative from Louisiana.

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Newsom had, however, another ace up his sleeve: the interview with Xi Jinping, which had not been announced. He is the first California representative to do so since his predecessor, Jerry Brown, did so in 2017. The governor began his tour of Asia in Hong Kong, where he met with university students to talk about climate change. That start was more within what is expected of a local ruler abroad. China represents one of its largest trading partners for California, as it is the eighth most important source of income for the State. Its annual imports represent about 147,000 million dollars.

The governor assured that he discussed several topics with Xi. The fight against climate change championed their meetings. California announced last year that it will ban the sale of gasoline cars starting in 2035, a fundamental decision for the State to achieve zero emissions in 2045. China, on the other hand, aims to reduce its emissions in 2030 and be neutral for three more decades. late.

Newsom also touched on other pressing issues. One of these, the presence of fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opiate that has flooded the streets of the United States, and especially in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, generating an epidemic. Newsom assured the journalists who accompanied him, who were not present at the meeting, that he spoke with the highest Chinese authority about the chemical precursors that are shipped in Asia and arrive in Mexico and then continue their deadly path to the cities of the United States. Joined. “It takes the life of at least one person every day in San Francisco,” he said.

No longer with Xi, but with other high-level authorities, such as Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice President Han Zheng, he dared to touch on human rights issues in Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan. The governor even claims to have requested the release of David Lin, a California citizen who has been detained in China since 2006.

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