Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley criticized President Biden on Thursday for having “begged” to get a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Biden is set to meet with Xi on Nov. 15 in San Francisco for a meeting that the White House views as the most important and consequential bilateral meeting of Biden’s term.
The two leaders last met face-to-face on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia last November.
Haley argued in an interview with Fox News that the president has been begging for this meeting by sending administration officials to China to get one.
“Well, I think you’ve seen Biden has begged for this meeting, right? He sent four cabinet members to China to go and try and court the Chinese. And so now they’re going to grant him a meeting,” Haley said. “But the key is, what’s he going to talk about in the meeting?”
“There’s a lot of questions we need to talk about, but the one thing I can promise you is going to come out is they’re going to have a conversation about the weather and talk about the environment and talk about how they’re going to work together on that. He’s not going to call them out on anything else,” she added, bashing Biden’s focus on climate change on the global stage. “That’s why President Xi is willing to meet with them, is they’re not scared of Joe Biden. They don’t worry about what he’s going to do.”
The White House has downplayed the long list of deliverables for the meeting next week and focused on what they view as achievable goals, including the resumption of a direct military-to-military line of communication that the Chinese severed in August 2022 following a visit by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to Taiwan.
Haley, the former United Nations ambassador under former President Trump, told Fox News that Biden should discuss with Xi the influx of fentanyl in the U.S. and intellectual property issues. She also said that the Chinese has “to tell us why they’re putting a military and spy base in Cuba just off our shores.”
“What we need to be saying is we’re going to end all normal trade relations with you if you don’t stop murdering these Americans with fentanyl,” she said.
Haley is trailing former President Trump in polling for the GOP presidential nomination, but has gained some strength from a series of solidly-reviewed debate performances. She’s counting on strong results in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary to gain on Trump.
Xi’s visit to San Francisco marks the first time the Chinese president has come to the U.S. in six years. In 2017, Trump hosted him for a dinner meeting at his Mar-A-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Fla.
The goal to resume direct military-to-military line of communication is viewed as a key way to lower the temperature in the U.S. and China relationship, which has taken a hit since Biden and Xi last met.
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Author: Alex Gangitano