New Book Provides Details on Newsom’s Junket to Communist China

New Book Provides Details on Newsom’s Junket to Communist China

Governor of California Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in Beijing on Oct. 25, 2023. (Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images)

John Seiler

John Seiler

4/3/2024

Updated: 4/4/2024

0

Commentary
Last fall I wrote three articles in the Epoch Times exposing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s adventure in communist China: “Chinese State-Owned Media Uses Gov. Newsom in Massive Propaganda Blast,” “Gov. Newsom Embarrasses California in Meeting Dictator Xi in China,” and “Newsom Junket Appeases Communist China.”
A heavily footnoted new book reveals more on that propaganda trip as well as other connections the governor enjoys with the Beijing regime. It’s “Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans,” by veteran investigative journalist Peter Schweizer.
“Since Newsom is not a U.S. federal official and simply a state governor, the trip was organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, an ‘affiliate’ of Chinese intelligence,” Mr. Schweizer writes.
That means the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. intelligence agencies were not there to protect Mr. Newsom from the prying ears and eyes of China’s spy agencies. Presumably he was smart enough not to say anything Beijing might use against him in the future. But his staff?
Wikipedia adds more detail on the CPAFFC: “The organization is officially termed a ‘people’s organization’ and manages China’s sister city relationships. Its stated aim is to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the Chinese people and foreign nations but observers have pointed out that it functions as a front organization in the united front system used to influence and co-opt elites to promote the interests of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) while downplaying its association with the CCP.
“The CPAFFC has been described as the ‘public face’ of the CCP’s United Front Work Department. The CPAFFC sponsors and coordinates various front organizations and influence operations in other countries at the national and sub-national level.”

A Governor of Respect

“Beijing gave Newsom superlative treatment,” Mr. Schweizer continues. “He was granted a coveted meeting with President Xi in the Great Hall of the People, the first U.S. governor to do so since 2017. In an unusual move, Newsom was allowed to sit side-by-side with the Chinese leader, a sign of respect. When U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken had visited earlier in the year, Blinken sat opposite Chinese officials while Xi was in the center—a position of superiority.”
What a humiliation. The U.S. secretary of state is the third-ranked U.S. official, after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The author continues (brackets in original): “This elevation of Newsom caused one Chinese writer to explain that this was a good will gesture by China to the U.S., but it was also recognition of Beijing ‘having a long-term investment in him [Newsom].’
“What transpired during the meeting is not fully known. As the two met, the Chinese media was allowed to enter the Great Hall of the People, but the American media was blocked.”
The “one Chinese writer” was Jeff Pao, who headlined his Oct. 31 article in the Asia Times, “California governor visit gets high marks from China.” Mr. Pao wrote: “‘China’s high-level treatment for Newsom must have made Blinken very envious,’ a Jiangxi-based writer says in an article published on Monday. ‘What did Newsom do? It’s very simple. He only gave the U.S. an important reminder.’
“The writer says the California governor helped remind Washington that if China is successful, the U.S. will become even more successful. He says Newsom also highlighted that the two countries are not having a zero sum game. ...
“He also discussed Taiwan issues with [Foreign Minister Wang Yi] in a meeting.
“‘I expressed my support for the One-China policy ... as well as our desire not to see independence,’ he said.”
Mr. Schweizer added, “In public, over the course of his week-long stay, Newsom had nothing critical to say about Beijing, but he did admonish both Republicans and Democrats back home ‘to tone down their criticisms of China.’”

Downplaying Fentanyl Crisis

For most Americans, Beijing’s most direct attack is the fentanyl crisis plaguing our communities, killing more than 100,000 people a year. “Newsom’s office says that he brought up the subject of fentanyl with Xi in the context of ‘China’s role in combating the transnational shipping of precursor chemicals,’ implying the shipments were somehow occurring independent of the Chinese government,” Mr. Schweizer writes.
He quoted Mr. Newsom, who said, “These were honest conversations,” but quickly added, “no fingers were being pointed. And the overriding purpose was around a substantive desire to engage a need and desire to reconcile our differences.”
Mr. Schweizer then brings up the major theme of his book: “Based on California’s fentanyl death rate, approximately 116 Californians died of the opioid crisis during his visit to China, the country that played a central role in the production and distribution network of the drug.
“For Newsom, it appears that honestly addressing the fentanyl crisis by dealing with China’s central role in the crisis might disrupt his political and financial security.”
Mr. Schweizer notes California’s centrality as the only state bordering both Mexico and the Pacific Rim. “Drug warfare is real. It is a powerful weapon that has been deployed against the United States. It has caused untold casualties. Politicians find it convenient to focus on the blast caused by the fentanyl missile while ignoring from where the missile was launched—Beijing.”
China still is gaslighting America on the fentanyl crisis. The White House readout of Mr. Biden’s April 2 phone call with Mr. Xi summarized: “They reviewed and encouraged progress on key issues discussed at the Woodside Summit [last year in San Francisco], including counternarcotics cooperation, ongoing military-to-military communication, talks to address AI-related risks, and continuing efforts on climate change and people-to-people exchanges.”
“Counternarcotics cooperation” mainly would include fighting fentanyl—even though it’s just as deadly now as during Mr. Newsom’s junket half a year ago.

BYD Mask Flim-Flam

When the COVID-19 crisis hit four years ago, I was press secretary to state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa). A Certified Public Accountant, he previously had been Orange County’s treasurer-tax collector for 12 years and supervisor for eight years, so he had significant experience with government contracts.
Before all Senate workers were sent home to isolate, every day in Mr. Moorlach’s Costa Mesa district office we watched the TV as Mr. Newsom briefed the state on how he was marshaling the fight against the pandemic. That included his now infamous mask contract in April 2020 with giant Chinese manufacturer BYD, costing $495 million up front and a projected cost of $990. I remember Mr. Moorlach shaking his accountant’s head over that folly.
BYD, Mr. Schweizer writes, had “no experience in producing medical gear. However, among other things, it did build guidance systems for the Chinese military’s missile program. BYD also had a history of hiring lobbyists to secure no-bid contracts—as was this one. When the contract terms were finally made public, it included heavily inflated prices. And when the masks arrived, federal inspectors rejected them for being subpar and unsafe. None of this seemed to have bothered Newsom. When he traveled to China in October 2023, he visited a BYD factory, praising their products.”
My article “Newsom Junket Appeases Communist China” included more detail on the BYD contract. And in “Gov. Newsom Embarrasses California in Meeting Dictator Xi in China” I wrote about Mr. Newsom praising BYD’s $160,000 electric SUV.

Conclusion: Longtime Tight Beijing-Newsom Ties

Briefly, Mr. Newsom’s ties to Communist China extend back to his days as mayor of San Francisco, 2004 to 2011, when he launched ChinaSF in 2008. Current Executive Director Helen Fu Thomas’s website explains, “ChinaSF helps San Francisco companies expand into the China market.”
“ChinaSF was highly favorable to the Chinese entities involved: any investment they made in an American company would grant them intellectual property rights in China for the technology developed,” writes Mr. Schweizer. “But many of the Chinese companies and businessmen that were involved in ChinaSF and benefited from the program had ties to Chinese organized crime.”
Mr. Schweizer’s book ought to be essential reading for all Americans. And those considering backing Mr. Newsom for a promotion to the Oval Office need to consider his long and deep ties to communist China.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
John Seiler

John Seiler

Author

John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

Author's Selected Articles
Comments
default_avatar
Write a comment...
Comments
Popular News
Latest Videos
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.