As Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis heads toward a debate with his left-wing counterpart from California, a Chinese media outlet has handed DeSantis another talking point.
The “miraculous” clean-up of San Francisco’s streets right before a visit from China’s communist dictator.
Last week, San Francisco hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the highlight of which was a meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Just before the summit, in order to make the venue more presentable, the city suddenly swept away the homeless, drug addicts, and garbage that seemed an intractable part of San Fran’s landscape and culture.
Radical Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted that the clean-up was because of Xi’s visit.
“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,” Newsom, once the mayor of San Francisco, told reporters on Nov. 13.
But that allowed the Global Times in China, a government-controlled media outlet, to mock efforts by Newsom and city leaders.
The Global Times noted that San Francisco’s “problem of the century,” meaning the homeless, “miraculously disappeared overnight” in preparation for the APEC summit.
“Chinese netizens joked online that the ‘about-face change’ of San Francisco’s clean streets and the disappearance of homeless people demonstrate the city has the ability to address the malaise but only seems willing to do so when an international summit is approaching rather than for the sake of its own people,” the Global Times reported.
“Drug addicts, dealers, and the homeless who have plagued San Francisco’s downtown have miraculously disappeared. When San Francisco finally had rare fresh air, people began to question why the city’s cleanliness and renewal had to wait until a summit.”
“According to media reports, the real concern for San Francisco residents is why the government can solve century-old problems that have plagued the city for the president but cannot solve these problems for ordinary people,” the Global Times continued. “Some Chinese netizens also joked that the U.S. media tend to hype China’s efforts to improve a city’s environment before a big event.”
Now that Xi is gone, some in San Fran wonder, as KRON in the city reported on Monday, “Will the streets of San Francisco remain clean even after APEC?”
At least one city official was not ready to say they would.
“To be able to maintain that, I think there’s a lot of questions about what can we do. I think there are a lot of lessons learned during this week,” Democratic Supervisor Connie Chan told KRON.
“I think what’s going to happen and what should happen all around the city is that we continue to keep up our work. Focus on day-to-day operations of the city — making sure we keep our streets clean. We continue to offer our outreach to homeless individuals and continue to make sure that city services are actually efficient and be able to deliver on a timely fashion — not just when it’s a time like this.”
Gov. DeSantis actually visited San Francisco back in June, and held it up as an example of failed liberal leadership.
“The city is not vibrant anymore,” DeSantis said in a campaign ad filmed in the city. “It’s really collapsed because of leftist policies, and these policies have caused people to flee this area. They don’t prosecute criminals like they do in most parts of the country. The wreckage has really been sad to see.”
“It just shows you these policies matter. Leadership matters. They are doing it wrong here,” he said.
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