Republican 2024 presidential hopeful Nikki Haley on Sunday raised dire concerns about China’s military buildup — saying the country, “has been preparing for war with us for decades.”
The former US ambassador to the United Nations, who rolled out a proposal to confront China last week, warned that the Asian giant’s military has been growing stronger amid US complacency.
“If you look at the military situation, they now have the largest naval fleet in the world,” Haley said on “Fox News Sunday.” “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.”
Haley underscored that China’s military fortifications come against the backdrop of the rise of so-called woke culture within the US military.
“They are modernizing their military, our military’s taking gender pronoun classes,” she said. “Look at what they’re doing on cyber, artificial intelligence, space — they’re ahead of us.”
During a speech last week to unveil her China policy, Haley described China as “much more than a mere ‘competitor’ — Communist China is an enemy.”
She also dubbed Beijing the “most dangerous foreign threat we’ve faced since the Second World War” and proposed limiting trade relations with China.
Her harsh rhetoric drew a fiery rebuke from a spokesperson at the Chinese embassy in Washington DC.
“Pushing American companies to leave China runs counter to economic laws, and will ultimately harm everyone’s interests,” the spokesman told Reuters.
“Only those who draw attention by smearing and blame-shifting in the election campaign will end up on the ash heap of history.”
Other proposals Haley floated include tightening restrictions on Chinese investments in the US and shoring up 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 warned on “Fox News Sunday.”
Haley served as former US ambassador to the UN under then-President Donald Trump from early 2017 to late 2018. During her tenure, she emerged as a fierce critic of the Chinese Communist Party.
She is currently polling in fourth place among the 2024 GOP pack, according to the latest RealClearPolitics polling aggregate.