SAN FRANCISCO (Debora Villalon/KTVU) - San Francisco's Chinese consulate held a lunar New Year's launch Friday evening, with a special guest whose appearance has become a tradition.
"Everybody has noticed, Governor Jerry Brown is sitting on the stage," said Consul General Luo Linquan, addressing the crowd.
"It's his third year in a row with us, this proves Jerry Brown is very good friend to China, an old friend to China," Linquan said to applause.
The business-friendly occasion was light on pageantry, and heavy on national pride.
The Consul General spoke of China's accomplishments during the past year. And he took a moment to honor San Francisco's late Mayor Ed Lee, who will be missed during this season's "Year of the Dog" celebrations."
Many in the community credit Lee for job creation.
"The unemployment rate reduced dramatically under his seven years of leadership here," deputy Consul General Faqiang Ren told KTVU. "It went from 10 percent to under 3 and a half percent."
Governor Brown's comments were blunt- as usual- and international in scope.
"We live in a world of great opportunity but also great danger," he told the crowd.
Brown spoke of nations achieving balance between competition and cooperation, and he reminisced about his meeting with China's President Xi Jinping last summer.
During a five-day trip, Brown secured climate change agreements to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy.
"If we don't, California literally will be burning up. And China will be strangling on its own pollution," he told the consulate guests.
"We have a common threat, we have common technologies, and we need to do common research."
The four-term governor also praised California as a welcoming place: "We were built by immigrants, " he declared, "and when my great, great-grandfather came here in 1852, there were already Chinese here."
Without mentioning President Trump by name, Brown took a jab at federal immigration policy.
"Temporarily in Washington, there are people who don't like immigrants so much," he observed, "but they don't represent California, or should I say, he doesn't represent California."