In a video posted of the incident, Newsom is shown to be dribbling the ball after which the goes for a basket, bowling over a kid half his size in the process. The governor, laughing, helps the kid up, hugs him, and slaps his back.
The bizarre and borderline bullying incident prompted many to ask what Newsom was doing in China in the first place.
Newsom has claimed that he flew to China – one of the U.S.’ biggest rivals – on a week-long mission, which included a meeting with China’s president, strongman Xi Jinping, to renew the “friendship” between California and China, as well as reengage on “foundational and fundamental issues” that will define the two territories’ “collective faith in the future.”
In an interview with Fox News, Newsom also said that he wanted to learn more about how China and California can work on climate issues together, and how the latter can overcome the frequent droughts the state faces every year. The visit to the public school where the incident occurred, Yuying School, was done so Newsom could “see farm-to-school and other agricultural science programs in China.”
Others, like Douglas Schoen, former adviser to President Clinton and former pollster for Michael Bloomberg’s failed presidential campaign, the trip is likely part of Newsom’s attempts to run for president next year. Schoen says that the visit to China is nothing more than “clear” and shameless “self-promotion” on Newsom’s part. Schoen has also pointed to a recent trip to Idaho, a staunchly Republican state, where the governor was ostensibly promoting the accomplishments of the Biden administration, but was covertly building a “future base of national support for himself,” Schoen said.
With the incident, Newsom has now included himself in the infamous list of government leaders who have bungled supposed “sporty” photo opportunities with children.
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