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Gov. Jerry Brown touts partnerships with China amid warnings about the future

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at an event in Beijing in 2013. (Andy Wong / Associated Press)
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at an event in Beijing in 2013. (Andy Wong / Associated Press)

President-elect Donald Trump may seem eager to rattle nerves in China, whether it's a phone conversation with Taiwan's leader or complaints about foreign trade, but California Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't want anything to do with that.

In another example of how the state plans to stand apart from the incoming administration in Washington, Brown went to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on Tuesday to speak at a Lunar New Year celebration to reaffirm what he called the state's "great interest" in working with China.

"There will be a few side arguments in Washington," Brown said. "Don't worry. When it comes to California and China, we're on the right track, and we're going to stay there."

California has collaborated closely on climate change with Chinese officials, who have studied the state's programs as they formulate their own. Brown said the state also has benefited from China's production of solar panels, helping to drive down the cost of renewable energy.

"We are working together with China," he said. "Whatever little differences we have, or whatever big differences, the fact is, we have one world. We have one space we're all connected by."

Brown's brief comments at the consulate weren't all rosy. Often preoccupied with existential threats , he told the audience that he wanted to make sure they "walk out of here with at least three things to worry about."

First, he said, "you will suffer" if climate change isn't addressed. Second, nuclear bombs could "get used by somebody," which would be "very bad." Third, the global financial system "might collapse again."

"That's a lot to worry about," Brown said.

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