Communist China is the strongest and the most disciplined enemy that the United States has ever faced, Republican presidential aspirant Nikki Haley said on Friday as she slammed the ruling Democratic Party as a "socialist" party.
In an impressive speech addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference -- the top annual event of the Republican Party and its support base -- Indian American Haley continued with her focus on America's foreign policy, wherein she asserted that the US should not give aid to countries that hate it.
"Never in my life did I think Americans would look at the sky and see a Chinese spy balloon looking back at us. It was a national embarrassment," she said referring to a recent spy balloon incident.
"Make no mistake: Communist China is the strongest and most disciplined enemy we have ever faced. We need to hold China accountable. Let us start with Covid. And before we even talk about the cartels, we need to confront the fact that China is the one sending the fentanyl across our border," Haley said.
Haley, 51, announced her presidential run on February 14. Since then she has gained the attention of the party and the national audience as well. During the party primaries, she would be fighting against her former boss and former president Donald Trump. She is the only woman in the 2024 presidential race so far.
"I cannot believe what Joe Biden is letting China get away with. Chinese companies now own more than 380,000 acres of American soil, some of it right next to our military bases. What are we doing? We should never let an enemy buy land in our country. And we need to tell every university -- you can either take Chinese money or American money, but you will no longer get both," Haley said, articulating her policy on China.
China thinks the American era has passed and so do all the enemies of the US, said the former South Carolina governor. "But they are wrong. America is not past our prime. It is just that our politicians are past theirs," she said.
Haley's speech was welcomed by the audience, who have gathered in the national capital from across the country for the three-day conference, which among others is being addressed by Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy, the other Indian American to have entered the presidential race.
In her speech, Haley was very critical of the ruling Democratic Party, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
"I am running for president to stop America's downward spiral toward socialism and end the self-loathing that has taken over our country. I am running for president to renew an America that is strong and proud, not weak and woke," she said.
"When I look to the future, I see our country rededicated to freedom and opportunity. But when I look at the present, I see the opposite. Joe Biden and the Democrats are giving us oppression, poverty and lawlessness," she said and asserted that she has entered the race to the White House to overturn this.
"The Democratic Party is now a socialist party. Bernie Sanders and AOC (congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) are at least honest about it. Look at how much taxpayer money Biden has wasted since he took office. On Joe Biden's watch, we hit USD 31 trillion in national debt. He has put us on track to add USD 20 trillion more in the next 10 years," she said.
Socialism, Haley said, is weakening the US at the worst possible moment. "We need an economy that can out-compete China. But the only competition Democrats want is who is the most 'triggered'," she added.
Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, urged her fellow Republicans to vote for the younger generation.
"I have a particular message for you, my fellow conservatives. We have lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. Our cause is right, but we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans. That ends now. If you are tired of losing, then put your trust in a new generation. And if you want to win -- not just as a party, but as a country -- then stand with me," she said.
After Haley concluded her speech, some of the attendees chanted "Trump, Trump, Trump".
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.