Xi has been credited with the San Francisco Homeless Cleanup because, due to his arrival at this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit, the administration in San Francisco has decided to clean house and take action against the city’s infamous homelessness.
Critics claim that the Democratic-led municipal administration in San Francisco has been compelled to clean house and take action against the city’s infamous homelessness rates because of the impending arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The US media has dubbed San Francisco a “Homeless Mecca.” The city had 887 homeless persons per 100,000 residents between 2019 and 2022, or slightly more than 7,200 homeless people out of a population of about 815,000, according to a July report from the local authorities. With only Oakland and Los Angeles having higher figures, this is the third highest in the US.
Online remarks contend that local officials would have stayed inactive if Xi hadn’t attended this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit.
Saturday marked the start of the week-long worldwide festival, which is projected to draw 30,000 visitors to the Californian city. Tight security precautions have been put in place by the authorities in the locations set aside for the event, such as the waterfront Exploratorium Museum, the Moscone Convention Centre, and the Fairmont Hotel, which is hosting the delegations.
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Removing homeless encampments and other signs of their existence was a part of the preparations. A few of President Joe Biden’s detractors have expressed disapproval of the cleanup, claiming that tent camps were only covered up to keep visiting dignitaries from seeing them.
According to the July study, over half of San Francisco’s homeless population was classified as “unsheltered,” meaning they resided in “tents, cars, or other places not meant for human habitation.” A third described themselves as “chronically homeless,” meaning they have been without a place to live for a year or more than four times in the previous three years. Despite this, the local authorities insisted that there had been a 3% drop in homelessness between 2019 and 2022.
“All it took was a communist to come to town for San Francisco to get their act together?” journalist Collin Rugg of the Trending Politics outlet said on X (formerly Twitter), sharing a video of a security fence erected for the event.
Political analyst Jackson Hinkle shared a comparative image of the identical spot from before and after, writing, “Patriots love President Xi!”
After the APEC guests left, city officials stated they intended to keep the streets clean and said they had improved the visuals using funds already available.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles builds homeless tent cities at a cost of $44,000 per tent and is maintained by Urban Alchemy, a San Francisco-based charity.
Owners of private property have also profited. To make public spaces unwelcoming to vagrants, a recent project known as “hostile architecture” purchased enormous metal bins often used for animal feeding and utilized them as planters across the streets.
A remark on one of them said, “Buying planters won’t solve homelessness!!!” According to the regional news source Beyond Chron.
In August, The Wall Street Journal stated that despite California’s $20 billion program for homeless housing, the situation was simply growing worse. The article blamed the city’s lenient laws on drug use and stealing in particular, claiming that this was the reason homeless individuals from other areas were drawn to the area.
Ahead of the meeting, the Chinese media carried several callous pieces about San Francisco’s issues, labeling it as a “total failure” and a “garbage city.” In comparison to a “housework-shy couple who suddenly discover the neighbors are dropping round,” the South China Morning Post described the beautification as sending them into a state of “tidying panic mode.”
According to the Daily Mail, San Francisco removed several homeless activity hotspots in advance of APEC and added dozens of new shelter beds, but some people just refused to relocate there.
A 63-year-old man told the newspaper that he feared being separated from his wife in a shelter, adding, “It’s like they’re trying to throw away human beings.”
Xi is expected to land in the US on Tuesday and stay through Friday when the APEC meeting concludes.