FACT CHECK: Is Nikki Haley The Only Republican Candidate With A China Plan?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

Fox Business host Stuart Varney claims former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is the only Republican candidate with a China policy.

Verdict: Misleading

While Haley has laid out her vision in a policy speech, several other Republican candidates have released plans and ideas on combating the nation’s influence.

Fact Check:

Varney, during an interview with Haley on July 24, claimed she was the only candidate with a China plan. Varney said, “I think you’re the only Republican candidate who claims a China plan,” around the 4:20 mark of the video.

This claim, however, is misleading. Check Your Fact reviewed the campaigns of several Republican candidates, such as former President Donald Trump, and found that they have offered at least some policy ideas on how to deal with China. CBS News reported that most Republican candidates “have not explicitly laid out their own plans on how to deal with China.”

Haley delivered a policy speech in June 2023 at the American Enterprise Institute, where she outlined her plan for confronting China. In the speech, she called for banning lobbying from Chinese companies, eliminating federal funding for universities that take Chinese money and ending permanent trade relations with China until the supply of fentanyl ends, according to CNN.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has a page on his campaign website called “Declaring Independence from Communist China,” where he outlines his ideas for dealing with China. On the page, Ramaswamy states his plan “includes tough measures to counter China’s unfair trade practices, protect American intellectual property, and ensure our national security interests are not compromised.”

Trump has released three “Agenda 47” videos dealing with China. The videos include a plan to stop China from owning “vital infrastructure” in the U.S., ending the nation’s most favored status with the U.S. and stopping Chinese espionage.

Matt Ciepielowski, a spokesperson for media personality Larry Elder, pointed Check Your Fact to the campaign’s website “policy statement” on China. In the statement, Elder says he would “focus the Pentagon on national defense,” minimize the U.S.’s reliance on Chinese manufacturing and “punishing China when it unleashes a pandemic…and floods America’s streets with drugs.”

Former Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s campaign website mentions China but is short on specifics. Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s website also mentions China. (RELATED: Nikki Haley Claims China Has The Largest Navy In The World)

A Scott campaign spokesperson pointed Check Your Fact to an ad where the senator “denounces China for spying on children, stealing our jobs, and buying up American farmland.” In the ad, Scott says, “As president, I’ll keep China out of our homeland and out of our data. I’ll protect American workers, and I will return our military to the fiercest fighting machine in the world.”

While other candidates have not put out specific policy points, such as Trump, Ramaswamy and Haley, candidates have extensively discussed their strategy to confront China in interviews and ads.

Former New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie told The Dispatch in June 2023 that he would have shot down the alleged Chinese spy balloon and strengthened U.S. relations with allies in the region. The Dispatch reported:

“What other actions would Christie take to deter Chinese saber rattling? Tighten U.S. diplomatic and military relations with India; do the same with China’s neighbors in the Asia Pacific region, for example, Vietnam; and although the former governor remains committed to the ‘One China’ policy in which the U.S. does not formally recognize Taiwan’s independence, he says dramatically increasing the lethality of the weapons Washington sells to the island nation might be necessary to get Beijing’s attention.”

Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign, told Check Your Fact that the governor’s “approach to confronting the threat of the CCP and his record of action on the same (as governor of Florida) is the strongest among the field of Republican candidates.”

“Ron DeSantis recognizes the growing threat of the CCP and what it will take to confront it,” Griffin said and pointed to remarks made by DeSantis on the Mark Levin Show, Hugh Hewitt’s radio show and a recent press conference in Utah. He added that the “campaign will continue to unveil policy specifics in the weeks and months ahead.”

North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum’s website mentions China but does not go into policy proposals, though the candidate discussed China in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Win Nevada Twice?)

Hurd and Suarez have also mentioned China in their campaigns, according to CBS News.

Check Your Fact reached out to Fox News, the Haley campaign and other Republican presidential candidates for comment.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].