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After Xi Jinping visit to San Francisco, SF is falling back into drug use and homelessness: business owner

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With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference over and done with in San Francisco, some business owners are complaining that the city is reverting into a den for homelessness and drug use. 

Restaurant owner Tony Pankaew said in a local media interview.that San Francisco rushed to clean up the city for Chinese President Xi Jinping and other foreign dignitaries for APEC.

“They cleaned up the people, they cleaned up the streets,” he told CBS News Bay Area. “They made the city look good and look impressive for the foreigners, for the politicians.” 

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden split image

With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference over and done with in San Francisco, some business owners are complaining that the city is reverting into a den for homelessness and drug use.  (Getty Images // Fox News Digital)

“Now they have started to come back,” Pankaew said. “Slowly but surely. [In] a couple weeks [the city] will be back to where [it was] before.” 

Pankaew said he was hopeful that things will turn around in San Francisco, adding that a new skating rink near his business might attract more people, and therefore more business. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., was criticized on social media after admitting that San Francisco timed a massive cleanup effort ahead of the summit.

SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS OWNER ROASTS NEWSOM FOR CLEANING UP CITY FOR WORLD LEADERS: ‘HE DOESN’T CARE’ ABOUT US

Gov Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., was criticized on social media after admitting that San Francisco, nationally infamous for homelessness, timed a massive cleanup effort ahead of the summit.  (California Governor Gavin Newsom YouTube channel)

“I know folks are saying, ‘Oh they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town.’ That’s true, because it’s true,” Newsom said at the unveiling of a new program to plant trees in urban neighborhoods as part of his Clean California initiative launched in 2021. 

He added, “It’s also true for months and months and months before APEC, we’ve been having different conversations, and we’ve raised the bar of expectation between the city, the county, and the state and our federal partners.”

A San Francisco small business owner spoke out on the APEC clean-up fiasco during an interview with Fox News. 

“At first I thought… the media was making a way bigger deal out of this than it needed to be,” CrossFit Golden Gate gym owner Danielle Rabkin told “FOX & Friends First” Tuesday. “Of course, we needed to clean high-security zones. But then I realized they were cleaning outside those high-security zones. And then that Newsom clip surfaced, and it was abundantly obvious that they were cleaning because of optics and not security.”

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox News’ Alexander Hall and Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report.

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