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In China, A California Welcome at the U.S. Embassy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Governor’s weeklong trip to China continued Friday with a tour of the Forbidden City and a stop at the U.S. Embassy where he met with Californians serving abroad in China. Governor Newsom also met with China’s top climate envoy, Minister Xie Zhenhua and joined First Partner Siebel Newsom to see a farm-to-school program at a Chinese public school, before stopping by Peking University to talk people-to-people exchange.

BEIJING – In China’s capital city of Beijing, Governor Gavin Newsom addressed fellow Californians and other Americans working in the U.S. Embassy in China to thank them for their service, met with China’s top climate envoy to discuss California-China climate cooperation, toured a school with a successful farm-to-school program, and met with students at Peking University to highlight the importance of people-to-people cultural exchange.

Downloadable high-res photos are available here.

Following a tour of the iconic Forbidden City, the Governor kicked off his day at the U.S. Embassy where he participated in a forum with U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns and Embassy staff. Governor Newsom became the first Governor of any U.S. state to visit the Embassy since the global pandemic and thanked the diplomatic corps for serving their country through an incredibly challenging time. Later in the day, the Governor spent additional time with Californians stationed throughout China at a reception hosted by Ambassador Burns.

“These last few years have been challenging, particularly for civil servants living abroad. It is more important than ever to remember what we all have in common – a desire to be respected and connected.

Jen and I are thankful to be back in China, reconnecting with old friends and building new relationships. To all who call China home as they serve our country: thank you for representing the very best of our state on the world stage.

Governor Gavin Newsom

Later, the Governor met Minister Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. Over lunch, the two discussed ways to build on California’s 15-year climate partnership with China, which has already led to important progress in the fight against pollution and climate change.

Governor Newsom’s afternoon stops — at a public school and a university — were centered around the next generation.

Governor Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom visited the Beijing Yuying School – a public school in China’s capital city – to tour the school’s outdoor learning spaces, on-campus gardens, as well as their agricultural science and farm-to-school programs. The First Partner has championed the California Farm to School program through her California for ALL Kids initiative since 2019. Through Farm to School, California is connecting local school districts to local farms so schools can procure fresh and nutrient-dense ingredients for student meals and improve student health. Farm to School programs also bolster economies by keeping local dollars in the local community and improving climate impacts by incentivizing Farm to School farmers to employ regenerative and climate smart agriculture practices.

“During this climate-focused trip to China, it was a thrill for the Governor and me to visit a Farm to School program— especially considering the myriad of opportunities it presents to combat climate change.

From China to California, Farm to School is nourishing students and greening schoolyards, all while inspiring the next generation of climate stewards. Farm to School is also our secret weapon in championing climate-smart agriculture and food distribution.

I am so grateful to have seen it in action at Yuying Public School where students, staff, and the community are collectively reaping the climate benefits of Farm to School.”

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Governor Newsom traveled to Peking University and, after meeting with University President Gong Qihuang, met with students and faculty to discuss how vital people-to-people exchange is between California and China. This follows the Governor’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and high-level Chinese officials earlier this week where he also expressed his desire for increased efforts around cultural exchange, especially as California continues to combat anti-Asian hate that has been on the rise nationally.