CHARLESTON, South Carolina — 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley told Breitbart News exclusively that if she were president that China would never have sent up a spy balloon in the first place.
Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under then-President Donald Trump, launched her presidential campaign last week and then sat for an exclusive interview with Breitbart News before heading to New Hampshire and Iowa to campaign.
“Let’s be clear: If I was president, China never would have sent a balloon in the first place,” Haley told Breitbart News. “The reason that China sent a balloon is that they saw us fall in Afghanistan and then saw us let Russia into Crimea and then watched Russia invade Ukraine. America really hasn’t done anything. They watched Biden fall over himself to get into the Iran deal. So they are saying ‘let’s get away with it.’ How weak do we look that China felt comfortable to send a balloon across our border? What took Biden so long? They should have captured it before it even entered. We need to go to NORAD and say ‘what are you doing? You guys are supposed to be seeing this?’ We need to hold China accountable. They don’t get a pass on this.”
When asked what specifically she would do as president to hold China accountable, Haley told Breitbart News that it is time for leaders in both parties to start treating China differently across the board. She said the U.S. needs to secure supply chains and stop China from stealing intellectual property and building influence operations in U.S. universities.
“We have to start treating China differently. Republicans and Democrats, for too long, thought if we were nice to China they would want to be like us,” Haley said. “They don’t want to be like us. They are Communists. They look at the west as devils. They look at the west as great evil. They want to make their way our way. What we have to do is we have to stop the funding in universities, we have to stop the stealing of intellectual property, we have to build up our military so they know we’re serious, and we have to make sure that they know when you pass a balloon across our borders that there is hell to pay. We have to start making sure our supply chain is focused on America and focused on our allies. We don’t need to be having trade with China, especially when it comes to national security items.”
In her launch speech, Haley compared the Chinese Communist Party to the old Soviet Union which fell after a decades-long Cold War. “In the America I see, Communist China won’t just lose,” Haley said in the speech. “Like the Soviet Union before it, Communist China will end up on the ash-heap of history.”
Asked during the interview with Breitbart News if she views the conflict between the United States and China as a second Cold War, Haley said it depends on what China does.
“It’s up to China. What we have to do is let China know what we expect of them,” Haley said. “If we let them know what we expect of them, they won’t mess with us. The problem is they can tell Biden’s not even paying attention. To allow Americans to look at the sky and see a Chinese spy balloon is the biggest embarrassment our country has faced in a long time. It’s very telling to the international world. We have to fix it.”