In a stark warning issued this week, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and 2024 Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley made it clear that China’s increasing military prowess should not be taken lightly. She said, “China has been preparing for war with us for decades.”
Haley’s pronouncements came in response to the growing strength of China’s military, which she believes has been expanding in the face of U.S. complacency. “If you look at the military situation, they now have the largest naval fleet in the world,” Haley said. “They have 340 ships, we have 293. They’re going to have 400 in two years, we won’t even have 350 in two decades. They have started developing hypersonic missiles. We’re just now getting started.”
The truth hurts, @SpoxCHNinUS.
If the Chinese Communists stopped sending fentanyl across our border, robbing our businesses, spying on us, and militarily threatening our friends, then we would have a much better relationship. https://t.co/xslXUWyZBG
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) June 28, 2023
According to Haley, as China modernizes its military, the United States seems to be trailing, primarily focusing on socio-cultural shifts within the military ranks. She drew a striking comparison between the two countries’ armed forces, pointing out the rise of what she termed “woke culture” in the U.S. military.
Her assessment of China goes beyond its military capabilities. Haley deemed the Asian giant “much more than a mere ‘competitor’ — Communist China is an enemy.” She characterized Beijing as the “most dangerous foreign threat we’ve faced since the Second World War,” proposing to limit trade relations with the country.
In response, the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, hit back, with a spokesperson warning that such attempts to encourage American companies to leave China are counterproductive. The representative dismissed Haley’s strategy as an election campaign tactic destined for “the ash heap of history.”
Haley, however, maintained her stance. Apart from restricting Chinese investments in the U.S., she also called for bolstering America’s defense capabilities. “The way we have to deal with China is to not look at it tomorrow because if we keep waiting to deal with them tomorrow, they will deal with us today,” she said on Fox News Sunday.
An outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party during her tenure as part of the Trump administration, Haley has not softened her stand. Despite polling in fourth place among the 2024 GOP pack, she has shown resolve, particularly in her policy toward China.
According to Haley, China’s economic aggression on American soil, including purchasing U.S. farmland, needs curbing. She also argued for the cessation of regular economic ties with China if it became necessary to halt the flow of illicit substances like fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border.
While early polls show her garnering only 3% support among Republican voters, Haley remains optimistic about her prospects. “I have qualified to be on the debate stage,” she declared, suggesting that a lot could change in the run-up to the 2024 elections.
Haley’s tough rhetoric is a call to arms, a plea for the U.S. to recognize the gravity of the Chinese threat. As the race to 2024 intensifies, the U.S.-China dynamic will undoubtedly be a significant point of contention. Haley’s warnings and proposals offer a starting point for a critical national discussion.