Newsom’s trip to inspire more sub-national exchanges: experts
California governor wraps up week-long China visit in Shanghai
Published: Oct 30, 2023 10:10 PM
File photo: China US

File photo: China US


California Governor Gavin Newsom's China trip is a resounding success that can have a demonstration effect on other US states in promoting sub-national exchanges, experts said after Newsom visited Hong Kong, Beijing, South China's Guangdong Province and East China's Jiangsu Province in an intensive schedule. 

Newsom ended his week-long trip to China in Shanghai on Sunday by launching a new climate partnership with the city and touring Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory.

California and Shanghai signed a memorandum of understanding in the presence of Newsom and Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng, to promote environmental protection, address climate change and promote clean energy development, according to Shanghai Fabu, the official social media account of the Shanghai government.

Newsom said that California and Shanghai have many similarities, with expertise in biopharmaceuticals, information technology, artificial intelligence and higher education. They also have similar visions in promoting green and low-carbon transformation. 

It is necessary for California and Shanghai to strengthen cooperation in environmental protection and climate change, to jointly promote green transformation, Newsom said.

Gong said that he looks forward to practical cooperation in areas such as information technology, biopharmaceuticals and intelligent manufacturing.

"The California governor's trip to China is a resounding success," He Weiwen, a senior fellow of the Center for China and Globalization, told the Global Times on Monday.

"It shows that at the sub-national level, cooperation is still the mainstay of China-US relations and we should not be misled by the few politicians in Washington who fail to recognize the strong basis of our bilateral relationship," He said.

He said that Newsom's trip would serve as a paradigm for more US governors to visit China.

When visiting Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory, Newsom praised the achievements of the factory, saying that it is a manifestation of China-US cooperation, and he is glad to see its success in driving jobs and innovation, the Shanghai Securities News reported. 

Newsom also took a test drive of the new version of the Model 3, which is manufactured in Shanghai and sold in multiple markets across the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

The Shanghai plant is Tesla's first factory outside of the US. Since its completion in 2019, it has become one of Tesla's most important production bases and a major export center globally.

California's collaboration with China lies not only in general trade and investment but also in jointly addressing climate change, developing the new-energy industry, advancing the automotive industry and fostering cooperation in information technology, He said, noting that these areas could provide fresh perspectives for future China-US collaboration, including partnerships at the local level.

Newsom ended his last day in China at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, where he met with United Airlines leaders to celebrate the airline's resumption of daily flights between San Francisco and Beijing next month.

The carrier recently increased flights between San Francisco and Shanghai, according to the governor's office.

The visit came as China-US relations have shown signs of warming up amid more frequent high-level contacts. 

In the upcoming winter-spring flight season, the number of China-US direct regular passenger flights is expected to increase from the current 48 (24 round trips) per week to 70 per week, offering a boost for the exchange of personnel and trade, CAAC News reported on Saturday, citing the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Following the first meeting of the Economic Working Group, China and the US held the first meeting of the Financial Working Group on Wednesday, the latest move to deliver outcomes by increasing pragmatic engagement.

From the central to local levels, as well as the increase in flights, more efforts are being made to promote the gradual and positive development of China-US relations, He said.

Diao Daming, a professor at the School of International Relations at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Monday that recent visits by senior US officials reflected the strong desire of the US to strengthen dialogue with China and maintain the stability of the bilateral relationship. 

However, it is also necessary to recognize that the US has not changed its efforts to suppress and contain China in certain areas, Diao said.

"The US still needs to make more efforts, adopt rational and pragmatic measures, and effectively manage and stabilize the development of the US-China relationship," Diao said.