ATLANTA—Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley laid out her plan Friday to combat the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration of the United States.
“Our number one national security threat at this time is China, and literally, nothing is being done,” Haley, a candidate in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries, said at The Gathering, an event at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead organized by radio host Erick Erickson.
Haley, also U.N. ambassador during the Trump administration, painted a terrifying picture of the Chinese Communist Party’s involvement in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
“They have bought 400,000 acres of U.S. soil,” she said. “They’re putting millions of dollars into our universities to steal our research and spread Chinese propaganda.”
“They are using their Chinese front companies to lobby members of Congress,” Haley added.
Haley remarked that the Chinese spy balloon, which freely crossed the U.S. in January before the military shot it down Feb. 4, was a “national embarrassment.”
“Did you know 90% of our law enforcement drones in America are Chinese?” she asked. “So you’ve got all these little spy balloons around that can send back data in a heartbeat.”
“You’ve got enough fentanyl that’s crossed the border that surpasses the Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars combined in deaths,” the former governor noted, saying the drug killed 75,000 Americans last year alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that is the number of Americans who died of an overdose of synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl, during the 12-month period ending in February 2022.
Haley also noted that China has been building up its military and its naval fleet now includes 350 ships, with another 50 coming in the next two years.
“They’re building hypersonic missiles, we’ve barely gotten started,” Haley added. “They’re doing nuclear, they’re doing cyber, they’re doing artificial intelligence.”
“What’s it going to take for us to wake up?” she asked.
“I’ve dealt with China,” Haley said. “When their lips are moving, they are lying. They believe in a winner-take-all scenario.”
The former U.N. ambassador laid out a strategy to combat the Chinese Communist Party. She said she would “pull back all the land they’ve already taken,” stop sending the Chinese sensitive technology, and build up the U.S. military.
“No foreign entity should be lobbying Congress,” she added. “That’s what ambassadors are for.”
Haley said she would warn U.S. universities: “You will take Chinese money or you will take American money.” But not both, she said.
Haley said she would tell China: “We will end all normal relations with you until you stop killing Americans” with fentanyl.
“I cannot believe that we are having this much infiltration in our own country and not doing anything about it,” she said of the Chinese.
Haley also called for the U.S. to beef up security on the U.S.-Mexico border. She mocked Vice President Kamala Harris, whom Biden appointed as border czar and who traveled once to El Paso, Texas, to visit the southern border in June 2021.
“I didn’t pull a Kamala, go there and come back,” Haley said, noting that she traveled “400 miles down that border.”
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