Among ‘conservative’ politicians laughing at their supporters, China asset Nikki Haley stands out

Special to, December 17, 2023

Corporate WATCH

Commentary by Joe Schaeffer  @Schaeff55

What does it say about the progressive ruling elite’s opinion of the citizens of the West that modern office-seekers can so flagrantly lie about supposedly bedrock principles with an impunity that beggars description?

Politicians and untruths have always gone together, of course, but surely it is a bit peculiar how demonstrably shameless the deceit has become. As World Tribune noted in September, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni ran for her position on anti-immigration platform. It was not one of several issues she focused on: it was her core message.

Not even a year passed after she won office before Meloni did an abrupt 180-degree pivot, declaring that massive immigration was essential for the nation’s survival.

Nikki Haley

Populists around the world are still celebrating the victory in Argentina of self-described “anarcho-capitalist” Javier Milei in that nation’s presidential runoff on Nov. 19. Yet he chose to outdo Meloni in the speed of his duplicity.

Milei ran on one issue: that Argentina’s economy was facing total catastrophe unless radical changes were made. As part of this sole stance, he included the expensive climate change boondoggle, which he specifically labeled a “socialist hoax.”

Not even one month went by before Milei turned on a dime. “This is why I came to this COP, to reassure our party stakeholders and people following the process that Argentina will stay committed to the Paris Agreement [on climate change],” Argentine “climate diplomat” Marcia Levaggi announced at the recent United Nations COP28 climate talks in Dubai. “We will honor all our environmental agreements.”

“Milei is a liberal, he’s a libertarian, and he believes in market forces,” she added. “And the market demands to include measures to address climate change.”

As far as elastic electioneering goes, that’s pretty bad, isn’t it?

Which brings us to America, and Republican establishment darling of the hour Nikki Haley. The insincerity of her suddenly uber-hawkish verbal attacks on China is every bit as brazen as our international examples. Nikki Haley honestly does not believe Americans are capable of reading up on things she said and did a mere 10 years ago.

Here is Haley telling CNBC on July 24:

“Companies and people have said for too long, ‘We’ll deal with China tomorrow.’ But China is dealing with us today. We’ve got to address this,” she [declared].

Haley said “every company needs to have a Plan B” in the event that China decides to “pull the rug out from under us.” She called Beijing “the biggest threat we’ve had since Pearl Harbor.”

Bigger than the Soviet Union?

Haley had strong words for China-canoodling U.S. businesses when she spoke at a June 27 event sponsored by Swamp think tank the American Enterprise Institute:

And China’s abuse of American businesses is worse than ever. Every U.S. company that works in China is effectively required to support the Chinese military. They don’t have a choice.

The Communist Party is stealing our innovations to the tune of $600 billion a year. It’s using American enterprise to undermine American strength. And President Biden is letting it happen….

The line between Chinese investors and the Chinese Communist Party is exceptionally thin. The national security risk is too great.

It all sounds good. Until one examines her tenure as governor of South Carolina.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in 2012 published a feature article titled “Chinese companies discover the US.” The entire piece was based on what was happening in The Palmetto State on Haley’s watch – and with her zealous encouragement:

Local politicians and economic developers in South Carolina have recognized investments from China as a good opportunity and have started pitching the state as a favorable location with good conditions and low labor costs.

The governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, says that Chinese and American people are similar. “They work with passion and they work with urgency – like there is no time to waste and they want it all done yesterday.”

She says this passion used to be alive in the US. “And we’re saying: let’s get that passion again. And that’s why I think the Chinese investments are good for us. Because it reminds us of what this energy feels like. They can remind us that we need to focus on that again.”

Haley entered the South Carolina governor’s mansion in January 2011. Chinese companies were immediately attracted to the state, the 2012 piece reveals:

South Carolina is favored among Chinese companies looking to invest in the US. Over one dozen such companies have set up there in the past year – among them, the auto parts distributor GSP and American Gravure Cylinder.

British business newspaper Financial Times in 2013 ran a similar article, titled “US states deepen commercial ties with China.” Once again, South Carolina garnered the lion’s share of attention.

Again we stress, Haley became governor in January 2011:

South Carolina, a Republican state ​that​ holds the third presidential primary vote, has received $431m of Chinese investment since 2011, and boasts 20 Chinese manufacturers, including some attracted by its history of textile production. Among them are Keer, which is investing $218m in a cotton mill, and JN Fibers, which recycles soda bottles into fibers for furniture at a $45m plant.

“China is coming on very fast…  when you have one [country] growing as fast as it is, you pay a lot of attention,” says Bobby Hitt, South Carolina’s commerce secretary, adding that his state wants to raise its China expertise to match its Japan knowledge.

Haley’s South Carolina Commerce Department waxed ecstatic over China’s heavy presence in the state, duly quoting the governor in the process. From a December 2013 post on its official website:

Chinese textile company Keer Group has selected Lancaster County, S.C. for its first facility outside of China. The company’s $218 million investment is expected to create 501 jobs within five years.

“During our search, South Carolina quickly rose to the top of our list,” said Zhu Shan Qing, chairman of Keer Group. “We chose to locate our first U.S. facility in South Carolina for a number of reasons, which include the state’s workforce, proximity to cotton producers and access to the port. We look forward to a successful partnership with the state and the local community as we get this facility up and running during the next year.”


“Keer’s commitment to our state is a strong testament to South Carolina’s pro-business environment and capable and ready workforce,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “We welcome Keer to South Carolina and celebrate their $218 million investment that will create 501 jobs in Lancaster County.”

The department could not be more clear: the Haley years were a golden era for Chinese investment in South Carolina:

South Carolina leads the U.S. in foreign-affiliated job recruitment per capita according to IBM’s Global Location Trends report, and Chinese firms in particular represent an important and growing part of the state’s business community.

From 2011 to 2013, China was the fourth highest nation in foreign-direct investment to South Carolina, behind Germany, Japan and France. In 2012, a record export year for the state with $25.3 billion in goods exported, China ranked third globally in receiving product from South Carolina.

A February 2015 release by the department furthered the celebration. “Foreign Investment in South Carolina: Highlighting China,” the main header read. The investment dollars had continued to soar:

The South Carolina Department of Commerce has recorded capital investment from Chinese companies totaling almost $669 million….

China ranked first among South Carolina’s export markets in 2013, purchasing goods valued at $4.2 billion – up 388 percent over the last five years….

Nikki Haley is lying to the American people. And she is taking money from the very China-compromised businessmen she claims to deeply deplore as she does so. The Messenger reported on Dec. 6:

But a company run by the billionaire who is supporting a new pro-Haley super PAC once paid millions to settle civil charges over bribery tied to China. Although Haley is not affiliated with the super PAC, the corporate history behind one of its donors might raise questions about her tough-on-China campaign pitch.

Bruker Corporation CEO Frank Laukien recently launched the new Independents Moving the Needle super PAC to boost Haley’s campaign in the New Hampshire primary. Laukien is a co-founder of the super PAC along with his wife, Tamra, and Jonathan Bush, the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, among others.

Nearly a decade ago, the Bruker Corporation paid $2.4 million to settle civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that a subsidiary of the company in China made improper payments to Chinese government officials. A representative for Laukien declined to comment.

We’ll leave it to another China-loving former Republican establishment presidential candidate to describe what’s really going on here. From that 2013 Financial Times piece:

Jon Huntsman, a former US ambassador to China and 2012 Republican presidential contender, said Beijing’s growing economic and military might meant it would inevitably provoke “nativist” talk. “Primaries just tend to bring out that language and there’s not much anyone can do about it,” he said recently. “Our friends in China have learned… not to take it at face value.”

As her track record in South Carolina proves, China is not the greatest threat to Nikki Haley. An informed electorate is what she and her fellow ruling progressive establishment acolytes undoubtedly fear the most.

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