California Governor Gavin Newsom paid a brief visit to Israel en route to China, where he met with President Xi Jinping to discuss plans to combat climate change. Newsom visited Israeli survivors of the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We went to show solidarity and support, to gain a deeper understanding and ultimately, to meet with these families, particularly connected to California,” he told reporters.
Mr. Newsom has consistently denied any intention to enter the White House race, but commentators speculate that his trips abroad and meetings with high-profile leaders suggest he has plans for higher office.
The Los Angeles Times, for example, noted that the visits to Israel and China come at a time of high tension for the two nations. Israel is deep in conflict after declaring war on Palestinian terror group Hamas, and relations between the US and China are strained.
Speaking to CNN, Mr. Newsom said the world’s two largest economies must “turn down the heat” and “reconcile our strategic red lines.” During speeches in China, the Golden State Governor promised its leaders that regardless of what happens on the national American stage, or who is victorious in the 2024 Presidential election, California remains China’s “partner” in tackling climate change.
Both countries acknowledge that China and the United States together produce around 40% of the world’s carbon emissions and therefore have a specific obligation to work together on the issue.
During his short trip to the Jewish state, Newsom also met with its President Isaac Herzog, who later tweeted his thanks and said, “We will never forget the true friends of the State of Israel – those who chose to stand with us in our difficult times.”
A statement from Mr. Newsom’s office said California would send essential food and medical supplies to Gaza, which was blockaded for two weeks until aid trucks were eventually allowed to enter via Egypt on October 21.