[Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
California Governor Gavin Newsom spent a week in China late last month. He hobnobbed with China’s President Xi Jinping, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and other senior Chinese government officials for the purpose, he said, of promoting climate cooperation between China and the United States. “We’re not going to move the needle on climate change unless the United States and China collaborate together,” Governor Newsom said.
The Chinese regime rolled out the red carpet for Governor Newsom as he strode into the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to meet with President Xi on October 25th. Xi told the California governor that he “highly valued” the kind of cooperation that the governor was talking about, adding that there was “huge potential for China and the US to cooperate in areas like green development and climate change.”
For his part, Governor Newsom told reporters after his meeting with President Xi that they had “accelerated progress on climate in meaningful and substantive ways.” Notably, China’s abysmal human rights record did not come up during their discussion, although Governor Newsom claimed that he did address the issue with China’s foreign minister, which means nothing in a country under one-man rule. “I can’t be everything to everybody every moment of every minute of every day,” California’s governor said in defense of his failure to bring up this controversial issue with President Xi for fear of offending the Chinese dictator.
The California governor claimed that his visit with President Xi was “suggestive that we’re entering, I hope, a new phase (and) the fact that he’s meeting with a governor of California at the subnational level … is indicative of a thawing.”
To the contrary, the fact that President Xi met with Governor Newsom at all is just “indicative” of how the Chinese regime intended to use him as a prop for propaganda purposes.
Just three months prior to the display of warmth between Xi and Newsom, President Xi refused to meet with President Biden’s climate czar John Kerry during Kerry’s official visit to China. Xi rejected calls to cut back on China’s building of new coal-fired power plants, which it is continuing to do in numbers that exceed the rest of the world combined. Xi told a national conference on environmental protection that China will reach its goals in tackling climate change via a “path, method, pace and intensity…determined by ourselves and will never be influenced by others.”
But President Xi was all smiles when he met with Governor Newsom. The message that Xi wanted to project to the world was that everything could be hunky-dory between China and the United States on global issues such as climate change. But that would only happen with a cooperative government leader from the U.S. who does not put any pressure on China. Governor Newsom, who has presidential ambitions, is China’s perfect Manchurian candidate.
The governor of California proved his China-first bona fides when, for example, he declared that he saw a future for more Chinese electric vehicles on California roadways. Governor Newsom served as a pitchman for a major Chinese manufacturer when he smilingly test-drove and complimented a hybrid vehicle manufactured by BYD Company, a Chinese automaker with ties to the Communist Chinese regime.
“Governor Newsom ought to know that China isn’t a trusted partner and shouldn’t be an example for us to follow,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told FOX Business. “Endorsing Beijing manufacturing — so much of which is stolen from American innovators — may advance partisan climate politics, but it won’t do anything to deliver real prosperity to Californians suffering under the failed policies of Sacramento and the record inflation of Bidenomics.”
Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., was even blunter in his criticism of the pro-China pitchman. “Governor Newsom is more interested in promoting Chinese companies than American,” he said. “Ultimately, anything produced in China will be dirtier and produced with potential slave labor,” Rep. LaMalfa added. “A bit of a tip to him — his shadow Presidential campaign should be focused on supporting American exceptionalism, not pandering to the Chinese Communist Party.”
As part of Governor Newsom’s mission to demonstrate the potential for warming of relations with America’s number one adversary, he agreed to a document entitled the “Declaration of Enhanced Subnational Climate Action and Cooperation Between the State of California and the People’s Republic of China.”
“We emphasize the critical role of accelerated climate action and cooperation at the subnational level between the State of California and the People’s Republic of China,” the Declaration stated. However, these lofty words do not match the harsh reality of what is actually happening. Governor Newsom is plunging ahead with his economy-wrecking, anti-fossil fuel agenda at home while China – the world’s largest carbon emitter by far – is publicly reserving the option to increase its carbon emissions even more until 2030.
During Governor Newsom’s trip, California also entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the governments of several Chinese provinces and municipalities. One of these provinces is Guangdong, which had 156 operational coal-fired power plant units as of January 2023. According to data compiled by Zhang Xiaoli, a consultant at the Green Development Program in Beijing, “46.1 gigawatts of coal power capacity was in development in Guangdong” in 2022. “That’s more than in any other province and is roughly equivalent to the existing coal power capacity of South Africa, Indonesia or Germany.”
Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. Nevertheless, while Guangdong “committed” in the MOU signed by authorized representatives of California and Guangdong to “accelerating green and low-carbon transformation in the development mode,” there is not a word in the MOU about reversing Guangdong’s runaway development and use of coal power capacity.
Governor Newsom is presiding over California’s unprecedented crime waves, record homelessness, and a huge budget deficit. Instead of focusing on solving California’s problems that he helped create with his left-wing progressive policies, Governor Newsom allowed himself to be used as a patsy by China’s Communist regime to satisfy his outsized ego and political ambitions.