Gavin Newsom To Dodge Sticky Topics In Climate Talks With Chinese Officials

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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom will avoid discussing sensitive topics when he visits China next week to discuss climate change and bolster his state’s ties to the country, Politico reported.

Newsom’s trip will include visits to the Tesla factory in Shanghai and Hong Kong University, and he will seek to renew existing climate change agreements between his state and China while also signing a new climate deal with the city of Shanghai, according to Politico. Newsom will make an effort to avoid discussing more sensitive topics with Chinese officials, including human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, disputes over eligibility requirements for green energy subsidies and policies related to technology transfers, administration officials said.

On Monday, the federal government announced new computer chips restrictions focused on China in the latest development in an exchange of tech-related export controls between the two countries, while Chinese firms have made attempts to circumvent U.S. eligibility standards for green energy subsidies and tariffs. (RELATED: ‘Micro-Cults’: Gavin Newsom Is Terrified That His Son Is Listening To Joe Rogan And Jordan Peterson)

“The trip is wholly focused on climate, and we are obviously a state, so I think we look to our federal partners on federal issues,” Erin Mellon, a spokesperson for Newsom, told reporters Tuesday, according to Politico. Newsom last ventured to China in 2005, when he was the mayor of San Francisco, according to Politico. He made that trip alongside the now-deceased Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The governor and his climate adviser will meet with officials from the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and the Environment in Beijing, as well as a host of local Chinese government officials, according to Politico. Newsom also reportedly plans to renew a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, the agency that leads economic planning for the country, and another 2013 memorandum with Beijing regarding air quality, which boosted cooperation between California Air Resources Board officials and Chinese regulators to diminish the city’s smog levels.

It is unclear whether Newsom will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Politico. Newsom reportedly will also partake in wetland bird watching in Yangchen, China, while outlining shared goals pertaining to a global agreement to protect and conserve 30% of oceans and land.

Numerous senior officials from the Biden administration have made recent trips to China despite rising tensions between Beijing and Washington. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen each made summer visits to China in search of common ground on shared interests, but those talks do not appear to have yielded much progress.

Chinese Communist Party-linked hackers compromised the email accounts of Raimondo and several State Department employees as early as June of this year, before Kerry’s visit.

Newsom’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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