Charleston: Indian-origin Republican leader Nikki Haley has said that like the erstwhile Soviet Union, Communist China will also end up on the "ash heap of history," as she issued a stern warning to Beijing in her first public appearance as a 2024 White House hopeful.
Haley, 51, is the two-term Governor of South Carolina and the former US Ambassador to the United Nations made the statement amidst the war of words between the US and China over the recent downing of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over American airspace.
Addressing her enthusiastic supporters at an event here in the coastal city of South Carolina on Wednesday, Haley said: "In this America, the Armed Forces of the United States will be stronger and more capable than ever. A strong military doesn’t start wars. A strong military prevents wars!" "We'll stand with our allies - from Israel to Ukraine - and stand up to our enemies - in Iran and Russia. And in the America I see, Communist China won't just lose. Like the Soviet Union before it, Communist China will end up on the ash heap of history!" she said, as she formally launched her 2024 presidential campaign.
Her formal declaration means she will be the first contender to join the contest against her former 76-year-old boss Donald Trump, who announced his third bid for the White House late last year.
“Realising this vision won’t be easy. It will take an unparalleled level of commitment from all of us. It requires faith and a willingness to move past the status quo. And it will require doing some things we’ve never done…,” she said, as she took potshots at US President Joe Biden's "weak leadership, adding America will not win the fight for the 21st Century if it trusts politicians from the 20th Century.
Biden, a Democrat, has not yet indicated if he will seek re-election. Biden, 80, is the oldest sitting US president.
"China’s dictators want to cover the world in communist tyranny. And we’re the only ones who can stop them. But let me be clear. We won't win the fight for the 21st Century if we keep trusting politicians from the 20th Century. America is on a path of doubt, division, and self-destruction. A path of fading patriotism and weakening power," Haley said.
“Russia started the biggest war in Europe in 75 years. And in Communist China, we face the strongest and most disciplined enemy in history. It is unthinkable that Americans would look at the sky and see a Chinese spy balloon looking back at us,” she added.
American officials have said that search crews have recovered from the Atlantic Ocean the sensors from a suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down over the US earlier this month.
Search crews found "significant debris from the site, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified", said the US Northern Command.
The FBI is examining the items, which the US said were used to spy on sensitive military sites. The US has shot down three more objects since the first on February 4.
Before entering the presidential ballot, Haley has to win the Republican Party's presidential primary which will start in January next year.
The next US presidential election is scheduled to be held on November 5, 2024.
Haley was born to Sikh parents Ajit Singh Randhawa and Raj Kaur Randhawa, who had emigrated from Punjab to Canada and then to the US in the 1960s.