A Chinese Communist Party-controlled propaganda outlet is gushing over California governor Gavin Newsom, writing that the Democrat has formed a "truly precious" relationship with China that it hopes will bring "communication and cooperation" between China and the United States.
As Newsom traveled to Hong Kong on Monday for a week-long trip, Chinese state-run propaganda rag Global Times published an editorial praising the Democrat's "keen desire" to cooperate with the communist nation. While the Chinese people "currently lack faith in Washington as a whole and have distrust toward some US politicians," according to the outlet, Newsom is held in high regard given his "deep connection with China."
"The welcome for Governor Newsom's visit is sincere and warm, as 'it is always a pleasure to greet a friend from afar,'" reads the editorial, which is titled, "Truly precious for China-California friendship to carry forward."
"California in recent years has pursued a friendly policy toward China, which is notable given the current state of China-US relations," it continues. "The stability and continuity that California has maintained in its handling of relations with China are particularly commendable."
The Chinese Communist Party's extensive praise for Newsom comes as the governor assembles a political apparatus that he could use to run for president in 2028—or next year, should the 80-year-old president Joe Biden leave the race. Newsom's visit to China, however, is already prompting pushback from Republicans and could be used to portray the Democrat as soft on China. Rep. Michelle Steel (R., Calif.) called Newsom's trip "delusional," while a group of GOP congressional members on Friday said the visit would prop up a regime that is committing "genocide of minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet."
"The CCP is getting more brazen in its violations of human rights and aggression towards democratic partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific. Additionally, the CCP refuses to cooperate with the U.S. on the fentanyl crisis," the members wrote in a letter to Newsom. "These issues are too pressing for you to overlook as they deeply impact our constituents. Given your refusal to discuss human rights and the fentanyl crisis with the CCP, we do not see how this trip will benefit Californians."
Newsom did not return a request for comment.
The Chinese Communist Party has a long history of using its state-run media network to prop up sympathetic U.S. politicians. In March, for example, a Global Times piece used Wisconsin Democratic congressman Mark Pocan to argue that calls to ban TikTok in the United States are part of a "xenophobic witch hunt," a line that Pocan delivered during a "Keep TikTok" rally in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party ahead of Newsom's trip praised the governor through Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning. During an October 19 press conference, Mao said China "welcomes governor Gavin Newsom" and "hopes that the visit will produce good results and bolster California's exchanges and cooperation with China."
"China encourages interactions between Chinese and Americans from all walks of life and supports sub-national efforts of expanding exchanges and cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, science and technology, education, culture and youth," Mao said.
Newsom said he hoped to use his China trip to bolster cooperation between America and the communist nation on climate change. The Democrat on Tuesday test drove an electric car made by BYD, a Chinese auto giant that has "deep personal ties" to China's military and "state apparatus," according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing.