California Gov. Gavin Newsom meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, other top diplomats during trip to Beijing

Despite heightened tensions between China and the United States over the years, California Gov. Gavin Newsom received a warm welcome to Beijing this week. 

Wednesday marks Newsom’s third day of a week-long tour of China in an effort to promote cooperative climate action and strengthen cultural ties.

The two leaders were photographed during a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon local time. 

Newsom commended China’s progress in eliminating pollution and reiterated how important the nation’s efforts are. 

“We updated [our Memorandum of Understanding] with nine core principles to advance our collective strategies and efforts to address the issue that defines our times and defines the purpose of my trip to China…the issue of climate change,” Gov. Newsom said on Wednesday. “And the imperative importance of addressing the fundamental fact that we are not going to move the needle on climate change unless the United States and China collaborate together.” 

Chinese officials have expressed interest in advancing mutually beneficial plans to manage differences between the two countries and meet global challenges, among other goals. 

Newsom also confirmed that topics of conversation did include subjects that the two powerhouse nations are at odds over, such as trade, technology and human rights violations. 

In another meeting on Wednesday with Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, the Golden State’s governor said that he traveled to China “in expectation of turning a page of renewing our friendship and reengaging in foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective fate and future.” 

Newsom also met with China’s Vice President Han Zheng, who called Newsom “an old friend.” 

Among the stops on Newsom’s China tour are Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and two other provinces.  

He is the first California governor to visit the country since former Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017. 

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