The cleanup of the city comes shortly after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) visited China last month. The cleanup included a power washing and scrubbing of its streets and the removal of most of the city’s homeless camps, according to KTVU.
“I know folks are saying, ‘Oh they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town,'” Newsom said on Friday. “That’s true, because it’s true — but it’s also true for months and months and months before APEC, we’ve been having conversations.”
APEC refers to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which will host an expected 20,000 CEOs and Heads of State in the city this week. San Francisco Mayor London Breed has argued that the conference will bring in almost $53 million, which could revitalize the city’s economy.
“Tourism is our business here in San Francisco, and we need to focus on making sure that the tourist dollars still come back,” said city resident Patrick Rylee.
The visit from Xi to the state of California comes amid rumblings that Newsom could launch a last-minute entry into the 2024 presidential race, as some Democrats have expressed concern that President Joe Biden could not win reelection. Recent polls have shown former President Donald Trump beating Biden in a hypothetical rematch.
Though some have speculated that Newsom is running a shadow campaign for 2024, the California governor has denied that his eyes are on the White House next year, stating that it is “time to move on” from the speculation of someone besides Biden being the Democratic nominee.