The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for the United States to move away from its reliance on communist China, Indian American Republican politician Nikki Haley said on Tuesday.
“While Beijing has abused the free market in order to destroy it, America must harness the free market to protect our freedom and national security,” Haley, a former Governor of South Carolina and US Ambassador to the United Nations said in an op-ed on Medium.
The United States, she said, should start by setting up stronger guardrails to prevent China from exploiting America's economic openness and punish it for its predatory actions.
“It involves pushing back against Beijing's manipulation of international forums like the World Trade Organization. It means ensuring that our most important security-related industries — from essential medicine to semiconductors — have American-friendly supply chains, instead of depending on an authoritarian rival state,” she wrote.
Americans, she wrote, have always understood that national security is the foundation of economic security.
“As we strive to come through the coronavirus crisis stronger and safer, we must courageously and creatively act to protect our people from Chinese communist duplicity and aggression,” she added.
Haley suggested that the US should adopt an approach similar to the Cold War times, when it crafted new policies to check Soviet military technological progress, which included export control and trade promotion.
“Now, it's time to take a similar approach with Communist China. The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how dependent we are on that country for vital medical supplies, from specific drugs to much-needed personal protective equipment. This crisis is as dangerous as the coronavirus itself, and addressing it should be one of our top priorities,” she wrote.
The US Ambassador to the United Nations said the country's reliance on China for medical supplies was clear from the early stages of the pandemic as people rushed to purchase masks, gloves and hospitals tried to stock up on everything they needed, resulting in shortages.
“China, which controls nearly half of all US-imported personal protective equipment, was hoarding material for itself while banning companies from exporting their products,” she alleged.
“All of this leaves us less safe and jeopardises American lives in a time of crisis,” Haley said, alleging it's part of the strategic plan of China's communist rulers.
“Beijing has long had its sights on capturing the world's most important supply chains to give it an edge over America and the free world,” Haley wrote. She said to accomplish this goal, the Chinese Communist Party used its state-led economic model to manipulate the market to its advantage, often illegally. “Among other things, China has subsidised competitors to US companies and ordered the theft of their trade secrets and intellectual property,” she claimed.
She further said in near future, China is especially focused on controlling the cutting-edge industries of 5G, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and robotics.
“The Chinese communists envision an authoritarian world where they call the shots and command an unbeatable technological edge. They're working overtime to make that vision a reality. This is where America must respond — and lead,” she said.