‘Cheerleaders For The CCP’: Gavin Newsom Ripped For Trip To China That Critics Say Undermines US National Interests


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Philip Lenczycki Investigative Reporter
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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s trip to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) undermines U.S. national interests by whitewashing China’s human rights record, critics told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

On Monday, Newsom began a week-long China trip that his office has billed as “focused on climate action and partnership between two of the world’s largest economies,” during which the governor has test driven Chinese electric vehicles, tobogganed down the Great Wall of China and met with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping, according to multiple reports. However, critics told the DCNF that they believe Newsom’s trip serves the CCP’s propaganda interests by portraying Beijing as an essential partner in “climate action,” while simultaneously failing to raise the communist nation’s human rights abuses with Xi. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Nonprofit Head Bragged About Hosting Chinese Police Station Right In Front Of NYC Mayor Eric Adams)

“Wittingly or unwittingly, politicians, CEOs, investors often serve as cheerleaders for the CCP’s point of view on the world,” Mary Kissel, who served as senior advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told the DCNF.

“Anyone — a governor, a CEO, an investor — should be aware that the CCP has a strategy to extract benefits via their United Front work for Beijing,” said Kissel, who now serves as executive vice president and senior policy advisor at Stephens, a financial services firm.

United Front work “serves to promote Beijing’s preferred global narrative, pressure individuals living in free and open societies to self-censor and avoid discussing issues unfavorable to the CCP,” according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2018 annual report.

Specifically, several critics told the DCNF that Newsom’s trip undermines the cause of human rights in China.

For example, despite a Wednesday press release from the governor’s office claiming that Newsom had “met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other high-level Chinese officials to discuss climate action, economic development, cultural exchange, human rights concerns and democracy,” the two-term California governor later admitted he hadn’t discussed human rights with Xi, according to footage from a press conference posted by Fox News Los Angeles’ reporter Elex Michaelson.

“Look, I can’t be everything, to everybody, every moment of every minute of every day, but I was very privileged to have the opportunity with some of the most influential leaders in China to have the opportunity to dialogue about those in very direct and honest ways,” Newsom said after Michaelson asked why the governor hadn’t raised human rights with Xi.

New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith, who chairs the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, told the DCNF that U.S. officials visiting China have an obligation to prioritize human rights.

“Any official from the United States who interacts with the Chinese Communist Party needs to stand firm, and, first and foremost, advocate for the American citizens, lawful permanent residents and political prisoners unjustly detained by China,” Smith said. “The United States must stand up boldly — not acquiesce — to China’s mass murder, torture, state-sponsored rape and other gross violations of fundamental human rights.”

Kissel characterized Newsom’s actions as “fodder for the CCP’s propaganda machine” and a “classic United Front op” in a Wednesday thread on X.

“Beijing always insists that American politicians stay silent on human rights when visiting China,” Kissel wrote.

“It is a goal of the United Front to dissuade Americans and other foreign actors from talking about anything that undermines the CCP’s grip on power — things like human rights, Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang,” Kissel told the DCNF. “They want to steer the conversation away from things that hurt them.”



“The second, very blunt, way it aids them is all the propaganda photos of the governor smiling with Xi Jinping, the governor driving an extremely expensive Chinese-made electric car — that propaganda is important because China needs capital investment as U.S. capital flees,” Kissel told the DCNF.

On Tuesday, Newsom visited the southern city of Shenzhen and test drove a $160,000 hybrid SUV manufactured by the Chinese company BYD.

“I want two of them,” Newsom said during the test drive, footage shows. “This is another leap in technology — I mean next level leap.”

However, while Newsom may see the luxury SUV as a victory for environmentalism, a 2021 Congressional-Executive Commission on China report implicates BYD as the beneficiary of human rights abuses, stating that there are “indicators of forced labor” in the Chinese company’s supply chain.

Newsom awarded BYD a $990 million no-bid contract to provide California with masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Larry Elder, a radio host who unsuccessfully ran for governor against Newsom in 2021, told the DCNF that he believes Newsom has “his sights on the White House” and in the future will cite his China trip “as evidence of foreign policy experience.”

“It’s much easier for Gavin Newsom to fly in a carbon-emitting jet to China and whine about ‘climate change’ than to address California’s homelessness, crime, crappy urban public schools, high cost of housing, loss of population, disastrous budget, poor forest management and water shortage.”

Newsom’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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