Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley may be a staunch conservative often rumored to be a potential Republican presidential candidate, but she came out in support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Haley agreed with the Democratic leader’s decision to go to Taiwan despite threats from China, but criticized President Biden for not being quite as supportive.
“I do think that Nancy Pelosi was right to go to Taiwan,” Haley told host Mike Emanuel. “It’s a shame that Biden tried to put a wrench in it by saying the military didn’t want her to go. China’s trying to bully us, the same way they try and bully their own people. And we shouldn’t have it. “
Haley added that the US “should always have the backs of our allies, and we should always hold our enemies to account.”
China had threatened “serious consequences” if Pelosi went to Taiwan, but this did not deter the House speaker, who went as part of a multi-country tour of Asia.
Haley claimed that China’s threats were nothing more than posturing.
“I’ve watched China have a temper tantrum multiple times when things don’t go their way,” she said. “President Xi wants to show his strength, so he is bullying Taiwan. He’s trying to pretend that there’s going to be a war, he’s trying to scare them. America should never respond to fear. We should always focus on preventing wars.”
Haley added that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “temper tantrums” are “childish” as well as “dangerous,” but that “the last thing we should do is run from that.”
Haley claimed that foreign adversaries have already taken action due to feeling emboldened by the Biden administration’s failures. She pointed to Russia trying to take Ukraine and holding American hostages in the process, China “bullying” Taiwan, and the Taliban allowing al Qaeda to have a home in Afghanistan.
“It’s been a total mess, and what we’ve seen is Biden has run scared from his shadow the entire administration,” she said. “We’ve got to start showing strength and preventing wars.”
Haley then addressed the situation of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for marijuana possession. The US is pushing for a prisoner swap that would bring Griner back to the US along with Paul Whelan, who is being imprisoned on an espionage charge. In exchange, it is rumored that the US would offer up Russian arms trader Viktor Bout.
Haley supported the idea of bringing Griner and Whelan home, but was firmly opposed to paying that kind of price.
“This is not a Russian hockey player that they want to swap. This is a Russian arms dealer that was giving terrorists weapons to kill Americans. Make no mistake, that is dangerous,” Haley said. “And if you do this prisoner swap, this is letting Russia know and every enemy we have know: get as many American hostages as you can, because that’s how we’ll get all our terrorists back home. That is not the way to do it. We need to get these two Americans home, but you don’t do it with prisoner swaps with people that are trying to kill Americans.”