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Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, embarked on a major cleanup operation in San Francisco. This was not, however, for the benefit of the people of California but for foreign visitors.

Chinese President Xi is visiting the United States, where he made his first stop in California. Authorities were quick to enforce laws and remove the homeless and drug users. In turn, Conservative Media criticized Newsom for only caring to enforce laws when the eyes of China were fixed on America. Fox News reports:

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., was criticized on social media after admitting that San Francisco, nationally infamous for homelessness, timed a massive cleanup effort ahead of an important U.S.-China summit this week.

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jingping will meet Wednesday during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) in San Francisco for a much-anticipated face-to-face —the first since the two leaders met in Indonesia in November 2022.

The cleanup operation was coupled with a change in Chinese rhetoric towards America. Chinese State Media is now vaunting Xi’s close ties to Americans, where he spent some time in Iowa as an engineering student. The NY Times says:

Not long ago, Chinese propaganda was warning that American attempts at easing tensions were mere performance. Its state security agency was urging people to be on guard against American spies. The country’s leader, Xi Jinping, declared that the United States was engaged in a campaign of “all-around containment, encirclement and suppression,” in remarks broadcast across state media.

Now, the tone used to discuss the United States has suddenly shifted. Xinhua, the state news agency, on Monday published a lengthy article in English about the “enduring strength” of Mr. Xi’s affection for ordinary Americans. It included old photos of him sitting in a tractor with an Iowa farmer, and revisiting the home where he once stayed in an American college student’s “Star Trek”-themed bedroom.

The ramping down of tensions between China and America is well timed for Biden. His administration has been mired in new commitments around the world, from Ukraine to Gaza. Having to deal with China over the issue of Taiwan might have been too much for America to handle in its current state.

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