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Gavin Newsom Meets with Xi Jinping

Normally, governors don't have their own foreign policies and conduct their own diplomacy, but Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) isn't any old governor. He runs the fifth largest economy in the world. Furthermore, he is almost certainly going to run for president in 2028, so he would like to be able to talk about having some foreign policy experience under his belt. Consequently, he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday to chat about items of interest (to Newsom).

In particular, Newsom is interested in talking about climate change, what he's doing about it, and what he would like Xi to do about it. He also wants to talk about China's exports of fentanyl to California and the rest of the U.S. If nothing else, Xi's willingness to have talks with Newsom indicates that he wants to keep lines of communication with U.S. leaders open, despite his recent mini-love affair with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is a balancing act for Xi.

Newsom can be quite diplomatic when he needs to. He is especially focused on exchanging ideas, policy, and technology relating to climate change. Many of China's cities are suffocating due to pollution from burning coal, so Xi understands he has a problem, too, and is willing to work with Newsom to help deal with it.

Of course, there are other areas where Newsom and Xi do not agree, including Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, but they didn't focus on them. They tried to focus on the areas where they could work together.

It is not lost on Newsom that in 2028, one of his weak spots will be foreign policy. That's why he is working on it. He was just in Israel and is now in China. In 2028, he will be able to say that he has traveled all over the world and knows the world leaders. Of course, Kamala Harris will be able to say that she has been to many funerals of world leaders. (V)

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