The coronavirus pandemic showed the critical importance of securing U.S. supply chains and eliminating the long-time reliance on China, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told “The Story” Wednesday.
“I hate that it came to this for people to start taking notice of China,” Haley said.
“You know, we are talking about this virus, but it’s so much bigger than this,” she continued. “China has been growing their military for a while now, which is a national security threat. They have this massive surveillance state with concentration camps of minorities, making them change their name, change their religion. They’ve stolen tons of intellectual property, [an] estimated $50 billion a year.
“I hate that it came to this for people to start taking notice of China.”
— Nikki Haley, ‘The Story’
“They invested in infrastructure around the world, but they’ve waited for the debt to rise up to where countries can’t pay it back and this is their time, they’re calling it in. They want that debt paid back and they will get it through military installations and utilities.”
Last month, Haley launched a petition urging Congress to investigate China for its role in the pandemic and to crack down on the Communist government’s actions across the globe. Meanwhile, pressure is building on th Beijing government to come clean with what it knew about the virus and what it allegedly covered up.
U.S. officials have increasing confidence that the coronavirus likely escaped from a Wuhan lab, but their mishandling of the pandemic is just “one of their many offenses,” Haley said.
“We need to change the way we think about China,” warned the former ambassador. “We need to change the American culture towards China, because they’ve been on a strategic mission for a long time.”
President Trump announced during a Fox News virtual town hall Sunday that his administration was working to secure the country’s medical supply chain and ramp up production of life-saving medicines.
Haley — who frequently tangled with Chinese officials on a variety of issues during her time at the U.N., praised the president for his hardline approach, calling him “tougher on China than any other president.”
“We saw that with the trade deal and now he’s getting ready to get a lot tougher on China,” she said. “They need to see that coming.”
Haley added that while she would like production of medical supplies and other critical goods for the U.S. to be moved completely out of China, she added: “I don’t mind if Americans are buying light bulbs and t-shirts from China.
“We have got to catch up and I don’t think this means the end of trade with China … but I don’t want us having to be dependent on medicine and medical gear that we need to protect ourselves for a national security purpose.”
As a result of the pandemic, Haley believes U.S. companies will feel a “patriotic duty” to move production back to American shores.
“I think you’ll now see American companies — it will become their patriotic duty to start producing in America,” she said. “It will become their patriotic duty to have consumers demand that they start producing in America. I think this is going to be the start of us getting smarter, stronger, and better and more independent, much like we did with oil a decade ago.”
Author: Yael Halon