| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Beijing rebukes US presidential hopeful Haley over China proposal

Nikki Haley, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, was reprimanded by China for her intention to cut off relations with the nation. Echoing her comments, China said individuals who hold Beijing responsible for issues would end up on the “ash heap of history.”

In the 2024 Republican presidential field, Haley, a former U.N. ambassador under President Trump, staked out one of the most hawkish positions on China on Tuesday, urging Washington to severely restrict relations with Beijing in order to address a sharp increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the United States.

Haley said the U.S. should revoke China’s permanent normal trade relations status until it helped stem the flow of chemicals used to create fentanyl. She also pledged to push American companies to leave China, saying if the U.S. rallied, China’s ruling Communist Party would “end up on the ash heap of history.”

China called such remarks irresponsible.

“Pushing American companies to leave China runs counter to economic laws, and will ultimately harm everyone’s interests,” the spokesman for China’s embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, said in a statement to Reuters late on Tuesday.

“Only those who draw attention by smearing and blame-shifting in the election campaign will end up on the ash heap of history,” Liu said.

U.S. officials say China’s government has not been cooperative on the fentanyl issue, or on money laundering related to the drug’s trafficking, criticism that Beijing rejects.

Beijing has countered that Washington should stop using the fentanyl crisis as a pretext to sanction Chinese companies, and Chinese state media outlets have repeatedly said addiction and demand for the drug are U.S. domestic problems.

Haley is well behind in presidential primary opinion surveys, with just 3% of Republicans planning to vote for her, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released earlier in June.

She has sought to use foreign policy as a way to differentiate herself in a crowded Republican field, and her hardline stance on China could push her rivals to adopt harsher positions as well.

  • Reuters