China's President Xi Jinping, along with several other Chinese state officials met with the governor of California, Jerry Brown on Tuesday, and called on the State to take a role in facilitating relations between the United States and China, inviting the U.S's most populous state to participate in the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
The meeting took place at a international clean energy conference held in Beijing, where Governor Brown told media that Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement would not deter him from acting as an individual state leader to cooperate internationally on climate change. China has likewise indicated its enthusiasm going forward with the agreement in spite of the U.S. withdrawal.
The California leader discussed with Xi Jinping the ways in which they can cooperate on trade energy technologies, environmental protection agreements, and exchanges of scientists.
Xi Jinping encouraged California to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, which is a massively ambitious plan undertaken by the administration of Jinping to expand global trade links by investing billions of dollars in infrastructure and forging new trade relations as well as deepening existing ones.
Brown said that his state government would actively participate in the construction of the project.
The Belt and Road Initiative has been primarily aimed at bringing together Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, however recently the Chinese government has expressed strong interest in building connections with Latin America as well, meeting with leaders from Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina.
The inclusion of California into efforts to build the Belt and Road Initiative signals an expansion and potentially new direction for the project, which the U.S. has not participated in previously.
President Xi Jinping has expressed hope that the forging of ties between California and China could serve as a model for the future construction of local-level exchanges.
U.S-China relations have suffered as the U.S. views China's rising role economically and militarily as a potential threat to its own dominance. In spite of this, Xi Jinping places high priority on the maintenance and construction of trade between the two nations, which he views as mutually beneficial.
“Since the two countries established diplomatic ties, China-U.S. relations have weathered various tests and always moved forward, bringing huge benefits to both peoples,” President Xi Jinping said at the conference. “Bilateral relations also contribute a lot to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.”