Governor Gavin Newsom has had a busy travel schedule. The California Democrat made a surprise visit to China shortly after a one-day visit to Israel. Back-to-back visits to America’s ally in the Middle East and economic rival in East Asia have once again sparked rumors of secret plans for Newsom to run for President of the United States in 2024.

According to the L.A. Times, Newsom’s visit to Israel included meetings with top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We went to show solidarity and support, to gain a deeper understanding and ultimately, to meet with these families, particularly connected to California, and notably the hostages, to see what we can do,” Newsom said in a press conference in an attempt to connect his Israel visit with his duties as California’s governor. In paying lip service to Israel and sending medical aid from California to Gaza, Newsom is trying to please both sides of a divided Democrat party on the Israel-Palestine conflict. “We are working with an aid organization to get that into Gaza, separately and above from the aid we are providing for Israel,” Newsom said.

Gavin Newsom’s visit to China is ostensibly about an issue with uniform support among Democrats; the climate change narrative. Newsom is working with Chinese diplomats to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy like offshore wind. The Chinese auto industry has its sites set on California as a large market for EVs. Newsom is working with China to subvert the American auto industry with Chinese imports while continuing his war on energy.

Newsom’s visit to China included a surprise meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday. “I’m here in expectation, as you suggest, of turning the page, of renewing our friendship and reengaging (on) foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective faith in the future,” Newsom told the press, according to Fox News. The Chinese leader and California governor discussed ways to “accelerate our progress on climate in meaningful and substantive ways” and “combating” China’s role in importing fentanyl to the United States.

Despite mostly friendly rhetoric toward the Chinese Communist Party and its representatives, Newsom addressed “major differences” between California and China but expressed a desire to “feel protected, connected and respected” and work together against “the greatest existential threat our planet has ever known,” referencing climate change.

Like the Israel visit, Newsom made weak attempts to make his China visit about his duties as California’s governor. However, the most likely reason for his wide-ranging international tour is an aspiration to the White House. Newsom continues to deny any plans to run for President in 2024, but his actions say otherwise. He may be building capital in his foreign policy chops in preparation for a Presidential run further in the future or a high-ranking job in the State Department. But the declining popularity of the Biden/Harris administration, even among Democrats, is another sign that the Democrat Party is looking for a substitute for 2024.

When asked about a potential run against Newsom in the 2024 Presidential race during a California visit in September, President Donald Trump told Fox 11 Los Angeles he’d “love to” run against Newsom. Still, he predicted Biden would “limp along” to the 2024 race.