Nikki Haley Accused of Misleading Audience Over Land Sale to China
Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is facing accusations of “misleading” the audience at one of her town halls regarding the sale of land in South Carolina to China during her time as governor of the state.
Fact-Checking by the Washington Post
The liberal Washington Post’s resident fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, gave Haley “four Pinocchios” for evading the question when an audience member asked about the alleged land sale. Haley responded by saying, “Don’t believe what you read on the internet… We didn’t sell any land to the Chinese. But, yes, I recruited a fiberglass company.”
Kessler pointed out that Haley did indeed recruit Chinese companies during her tenure as South Carolina’s governor, and Chinese capital investment in the state more than doubled. However, Haley’s denial of the land sale was deemed false and misleading by Kessler.
The Fiberglass Deal
Kessler clarified that the fiberglass deal did not involve the sale of land, but rather the company receiving nearly 200 acres of county-owned land for free in exchange for promised investments. However, Chinese companies did acquire approximately 1,500 acres of land in South Carolina during Haley’s administration, primarily through land sales.
China Jushi and Connections to the Chinese Communist Party
The specific fiberglass company in question, China Jushi, has strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Haley celebrated the establishment of China Jushi’s manufacturing plant in South Carolina as a significant win for the state.
Haley’s Defense and Response
Haley defended her dealings with Chinese companies, highlighting that attracting Chinese business is common among governors and states. She emphasized the importance of distinguishing between economic development and national security concerns.
Concerns about China’s Influence
Kessler’s statement warned about the pervasive influence of China, with Chinese-owned companies operating in all fifty states and Chinese products present in almost every American household. The statement stressed the need to address China’s acquisition of farmland near military bases and the theft of American technology as a clear security threat.