BANGKOK (AP) — Gov. of California. met with China’s most senior diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday, displaying a brief moment of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to U.S.-China dialogue in recent years.
The governor is on a week-long trip to China, where he will advocate for climate cooperation. Newsom’s trip as governor, once considered routine, is drawing attention as it comes after years of rising tensions between the U.S. and China.
“I am here expecting, as you suggest, to turn the tide, to renew our friendship and to revisit the fundamental and fundamental issues that will shape our collective belief in the future,” Newsom said in his brief opening statement his speech meeting with Wang.
Newsom visits Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu. Speaking at the University of Hong Kong on Monday, he pledged to continue working together on climate change regardless of the outcome of the next US presidential election.
Wang also struck an optimistic tone, saying: “Since Chairman Xi has said that the foundation of China-US relations lies with the people, I think your visit to China this time will lay a solid foundation, spread hope and… opens up the future.”
Wang, head of the Communist Party’s foreign affairs office, also said he knew Newsom’s trip had drawn many critics but he viewed the trip positively.
“But I think time and facts will certainly prove that your visit to China is consistent with the wishes of the people of California and consistent with the interests of the American people and the expectations of global society.”
Newsom also met with the head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, a Cabinet-level agency responsible for economic policy.
The governors of California, whose economy is larger than most other countries, have a long history of climate cooperation with China. democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger also traveled to China to share their knowledge about reducing air pollution and emissions, and since leaving office, Brown has founded the California-China Climate Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.