California Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed San Francisco’s recent cleanup effort was in preparation for Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to the Golden State.
Images and videos of San Francisco’s cleanup effort were shared to social media over the weekend. Some posts depicted before and after shots of the northern California city.
During a press conference, Newsom said the cleanup effort was in preparation for the Chinese leader’s arrival.
“I know folks say, ‘Oh, they’re just cleaning up this place because all these fancy leaders are coming into town,'” Newsom said before adding, “That’s true because it’s true.”
After San Francisco was magically cleaned up ahead of Xi Jinping's visit, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom says:
"I know folks say, 'Oh, they're just cleaning up this place because all these fancy leaders are coming into town.' That's true because it's true." pic.twitter.com/gMaKBtRq5f
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 13, 2023
“But it’s also true for months and months and months prior to APEC we’ve been having different conversations, and we’ve raised the bar of expectation between the city, the county and the state and our federal partners,” Newsom said of other initiatives in San Francisco. “We all have to do more and do better and so that’s really the spirit of this, this is momentum.”
Critics of the California governor took to X to air their frustration with Newsom and the cleanup effort.
“Major respect for Newsom for actually admitting that the elites only care about protecting and impressing other elites,” wrote co-owner of Trending Politics, Collin Rugg.
“They literally cleaned up San Francisco for a world dictator, not for their own people,” wrote political commentator Mike Cernovich. “It’s hard not to find this extremely funny.”
They literally cleaned up San Francisco for a world dictator, not for their own people. It’s hard to not find this extremely funny.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) November 12, 2023
“San Franciscans: GET USED TO THIS. You have a week. Relish in the cleanliness and beauty,” wrote independent journalist Erica Sandberg. “Be grateful for the spiffy uniformed cops, who seem to have scared most criminals away. The entire city should be this vibrant. If (when) it returns to the past, you will know for certain that it CAN be done. Get used to this. Expect this. Always.”
San Franciscans: GET USED TO THIS. you have a week. relish in the cleanliness and beauty. be grateful for the spiffy uniformed cops, who seem to have scared most criminals away. the entire city should be this vibrant. if (when) it returns to the past, you will know for certain… https://t.co/cBioJT1DCs
— Erica Sandberg 舊金山的神奇女俠 (@EricaJSandberg) November 13, 2023
Turning Point USA reporter Savanah Hernandez shared a video from San Francisco in December 2022 featuring images of homeless encampments, drug usage, and trash filling the streets and sidewalks.
“A reminder of the condition downtown San Francisco is normally left in and what children have to walk past everyday,” she wrote.
CA Gov. Gavin Newsom, admitted that the only reason officials cleaned San Francisco is due to Xi Xinping coming to visit later this week
A reminder of the condition downtown San Francisco is normally left in & what children have to walk past everyday: pic.twitter.com/F9xSNJ6CcO
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) November 13, 2023
Xi’s visit to California is part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit between the Chinese leader, Newsom, and President Joe Biden.
Last month, Newsom visited Xi in China to “thaw relations” with the U.S. and “open dialogue” with China. The California governor prioritized advancing climate action, cooperation and promotion of economic development and tourism, along with strengthening cultural ties with his visit, according to the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom
Newsom is the first American governor to visit China in over four years.