BEIJING -- Gov. Jerry Brown went to the American Embassy on Wednesday to celebrate a new $1.5-billion investment from a Chinese developer in a massive new Oakland waterfront housing project.
The single deal amounts to roughly the total of all Chinese investment in California companies and projects from 2001 to 2011, according to a study commissioned by the Asia Society.
It also helps Brown illustrate to Californians why he is in China. Gubernatorial travels often have a subtext, and Brown’s trip is no exception. Gray Davis took his first trip as governor to Mexico to meet with President Ernesto Zedillo in 1999, an effort to repair relations after years of acrimony stoked by the hard line on illegal immigration taken by Davis’s predecessor, Gov. Pete Wilson.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who long worked to shed the baggage of his father’s Nazi past, took his first international trade mission to Israel. For Brown, this trip to China is about money. He makes clear at every stop that he is eager for Chinese companies to invest in California.