The Democrat—who may be eyeing under-the-table foreign financial backing for a surprise presidential run in the event that President Joe Biden somehow falters—said he plans to discuss climate cooperation and promote his state’s economic relationship with China.
He will visit Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and the provinces of Jiangsu and Guandong.
“California and China hold the keys to solving the climate crisis,” Newsom said in a statement. “As two of the world’s largest economies, our partnership is essential to delivering climate action for our communities and beyond.”
While he’s in Guangdong, Newsom is expected to sign a new memorandum of understanding on climate issues with Chinese officials and meet with regional leaders to discuss the shift to electric vehicles.
This would be Newsom’s second international trip in his official capacity as governor.
The California governor is one of several Democrats who have tried to force China to bend to their climate change agenda only to be rebuffed.
Earlier this summer, the Biden administration’s climate envoy John Kerry traveled to China to restart negotiations over cutting carbon emissions but was unable to reach an agreement with Chinese officials.
Following Kerry’s visit, China’s Xi Jinping said his commitments to the climate were “unswerving,” but reiterated that China would not respond to pressure from the U.S. or any other country to change its priorities.
“[T]he path, method, pace and intensity to achieve this goal should and must be determined by ourselves, and will never be influenced by others,” he said.
Kerry insisted Xi’s statement was not a rebuke of his efforts.
“We’re not involved in dictating anything to anybody,” he claimed.
“We’re involved in following the science,” he continued. “And if anything, the science dictates the parameters that we all need to live by.”