Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley on Tuesday declared that "Communist China is an enemy" and pledged to strengthen America’s military if elected.
Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, painted herself as the most hawkish Republican nominee in the field in a Tuesday foreign policy speech and accused President Joe Biden of kowtowing to the Communist regime. She also sharply rebuked her former boss and presidential rival, Donald Trump, claiming his friendly dealings with the CCP showed "moral weakness."
"China is preparing its people for war," Haley said at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. "Communist China is an enemy. It is the most dangerous foreign threat we’ve faced since the Second World War. We have to stop wasting time."
Haley’s early focus on China signals that pressing foreign policy challenges could play an outsized role during the campaign season, as Republican nominees seek to set themselves apart from one another. Haley repeatedly singled out China as America’s number one enemy, saying her "top priority" as president "will be strengthening America’s economy and America’s military" to confront the Communist threat.
Even with a Russian-led war unfolding in Europe and Iran marching towards a nuclear weapon, "Communist China is the greatest threat to American security and prosperity, by far," Haley said before laying out her day one priorities.
"We will tackle Chinese meddling in our society and its manipulation of our economy," she said. "And we will hold the Communist Party accountable, while putting it on the global defensive. This is a sea-change in American policy. It’s grounded in the reality that our leaders have failed to admit."
Haley would restrict American universities, which are among the largest beneficiaries of Chinese cash, from receiving federal contracts if they work with the CCP.
"We should ban all propaganda centers and eliminate federal funding for universities that take Chinese money," Haley said. "Universities must choose—China or America. It shouldn’t be a hard decision."
Haley would also bar China from purchasing American land. Beijing currently owns around 400,000 acres of lands located near sensitive military sites.
"We aren’t just talking about any old property. China has bought miles of farms near sensitive military facilities. And China has taken majority control of agricultural industries," Haley said. "We must prevent China from buying more land and force it to sell what it already owns."
Under Haley’s plan, members of the CCP would not be allowed to lobby American lawmakers.
"We should ban all lobbying from the Communist Party and Chinese companies and prevent former members of Congress and military leaders from lobbying on China’s behalf," she said. "Beijing should never be allowed to influence our laws."
Haley also said she would move to "revoke permanent normal trade relations" with China until it stops pumping lethal fentanyl into American communities and restrict American technology trade with Beijing.
"We must end the export of sensitive technology to China, full stop," she said.
Haley also worked to set herself apart from Trump—who is widely seen as the Republican front runner in 2024—saying the former president "did too little" to stop China’s malign activities.
"He did not put us on a stronger military foothold in Asia. He did not stop the flow of American technology and investment into the Chinese military. He did not effectively rally our allies against the Chinese threat," Haley said. "Even the trade deal he signed came up short when China predictably failed to live up to its commitments."
Though successive presidential administrations have ignored the threat posed by China, Haley noted that "it is not too late to wake up and take charge of our destiny."