When President Richard Nixon took his pivotal trip to China in 1972, the primary goal was countering Soviet influence through diplomacy. But Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent expedition to the Orient starkly deviates from the laudable purpose of global equilibrium.
Unlike Nixon, whose outreach to China aimed at countering tensions with the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, Newsom’s voyage seems more about raising his profile ahead of a future presidential run. And while President Nixon’s anti-communist credentials inoculated him against concerns from his domestic opponents (and allies), Newsom’s record is murky at best.
Rather than serve as a champion of American exceptionalism, the Governor of California seems disturbingly comfortable with the communist country’s oppressive policies. From publicly available reports of the trip, Newsom said nothing to President Xi Jinping about China’s cruelty towards the Uyghurs, the silencing of political opposition, coerced abortions, slave labor camps, the mass surveillance of its citizens, and its complete disregard for religious freedom.
Newsom’s dalliance with China hints at a quest for political alignment rather than fostering global stability. Every Californian and every American should be concerned about the implications of such an alliance.
Newsom’s journey, marked as his debut official visit to China, was cloaked in the garb of “climate cooperation.” He embarked on this week-long trip with a stated agenda of fostering climate action, promoting economic development, and encouraging cultural exchange between the two regions.
“California and China hold the keys to solving the climate crisis,” Newsom said in a press release press release. “As two of the world’s largest economies, our partnership is essential to delivering climate action for our communities and beyond.”
But the cloak of climate concern may mask a deeper alignment of values between Sacramento and Beijing. Much of what comes out of the Capitol in America’s most populous state echoes the creeping authoritarianism, indifference to personal freedoms, and disregard for the sanctity of life commonly proposed by the Chinese Communist Party.
The bilateral meetings between Newsom and officials of the Chinese Communist Party also subtly unveil the shared stance on abortion. China, with its notorious one-child policy of yesteryears, and California, under the leadership of Governor Newsom, both seem to tread on a path that disvalues the sanctity of life.
Any alliance between California’s governor and the authoritative regime of China paints a grim picture for those who value life and liberty. Governor Newsom has signed multiple laws in recent years aimed at promoting abortion across the nation and enticing women to come to California to kill their children.
Coming on the heels of his recent speech at the United Nations, Newsom appears eager to position himself as a global spokesman on climate change. And he seems more than happy to engage with Chinese officials on renewable energy projects.
Yet religious liberty and human rights, cornerstones of American democracy, appeared to take a backseat.
Members of California’s congressional delegation from both sides of the aisle warned of the dangers of Newsom’s approach. California Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) advised against engaging with Chinese firms involved in renewable energy due to their use of forced labor, while Rep. Young Kim (R-Calif.) urged Newsom not to neglect human rights concerns.
In addition to government overreach and disrespect for life in the womb, there is a disturbing parallel between Governor Newsom’s and China’s actions towards people of faith. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom imposed lockdowns that severely restricted church gatherings, eventually losing in a 6-3 case at the United States Supreme Court.
This mirrors China’s long-standing disregard for religious liberty, where state control often overshadows an individual’s right to worship. The unsettling similarities in policies and the camaraderie between Newsom and Chinese officials during his recent visit raises questions on the respect for religious freedom and the potential impact of such ideologies on California citizens.
Amidst the backdrop of growing government control and diminishing personal liberties, the blossoming relationship between Governor Newsom and Chinese officials should give all of us pause. Aligning the Golden State with a regime that has such little regard for religious liberty or the sanctity of life is deeply distressing. It’s disheartening to see our state forge alliances that may undermine the foundations of freedom and faith we hold dear.
It’s imperative now, more than ever, to remain vigilant, ensuring American politicians do not sacrifice our nation’s defining values on the altar of international diplomacy and appeals to the climate change narrative.
Looking admiringly towards The Red Dragon not only undermines America’s foundational values of Life and Liberty but also sets a precarious precedent on the international stage. Newsom’s journey may have been a diplomatic endeavor on the surface, but the ideological undercurrents are too strong to ignore. As the Governor fosters ties with a regime known for its authoritarian governance and disregard for personal freedoms, one can’t help but question, at what cost?