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Where GOP candidates stand on conflicts in Israel, Ukraine, China

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NewsNation will host the fourth Republican primary debate on Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. E.T. The debate will be aired and streamed live on all NewsNation platforms. Not sure how to find us on your TV? Use our ChannelFinder app. If you have a question for the candidates, submit it here. 

(NewsNation) — International relations and foreign policy have become hot-button issues during this campaign season, and the 2024 Republican presidential candidates have made their stances known on conflicts between Israel and Hamas, Ukraine and Russia, and Taiwan and China.

The latest NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll released Monday found Americans across the political spectrum prefer U.S. foreign policies in these conflicts to not include sending troops to those regions, though respondents from both parties viewed the three conflicts differently.

Ahead of the 2024 election, NewsNation is committed to covering the issues that matter most to voters so they can make the most informed choices possible at the polls. To that end, we have broken down the political views of each candidate in our voter guide.

Here’s a look at each Republican contender’s stand on foreign policy.

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Donald Trump

  • Trump wants to “completely eliminate” U.S. trade dependence on China. Last year, he said he believed a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would happen sooner rather than later because of “how stupid the United States is run.”
  • He hasn’t announced plans regarding the Israel-Hamas war if reelected in 2024, but he has suggested the war will just have to “play out.” During an October Fox News interview, he said, “We need to protect Israel, there is no choice.”
  • Trump said that “every day this proxy battle in Ukraine continues, we risk global war.” He suggests overhauling the State Department, the “defense bureaucracy” and intelligence services to fire who he called members of a “deep state.”

Ron DeSantis

  • DeSantis believes China is “the No. 1 geopolitical threat this country faces,” per his comments in a Fox News interview. If elected, DeSantis has said he would move in the direction of revoking China’s permanent normal trade relations status with the U.S.
  • He has expressed “unequivocal support” for Israel and supports military aid to Israel while also believing the U.S. should not accept refugees from Gaza.
  • He has criticized the continued U.S. support for Ukraine amid the war and during the third GOP debate, saying, “We need to bring this war to an end.” In March, he walked back his characterization of the war as a “territorial dispute.”

Nikki Haley

  • The former U.N. ambassador says China is “the greatest threat to American security and prosperity” and that the country has “taken our manufacturing jobs,” “trade secrets” and control of “critical industries, from medicines to advanced technology.”
  • She has said the U.S. needs to let China know “there will be hell to pay if they touch Taiwan” and that the U.S. should “do anything we need to, to defend our friend (Taiwan) the way we’re defending Ukraine.”
  • She stresses the U.S. should give Israel “whatever” support it needs to “not just get your country back, (but also) to eliminate the terrorists.”
  • She’s one of the strongest supporters of military aid for Ukraine among her competitors in the GOP primary. However, she said during the third Republican debate that she only supported sending equipment and ammunition, not giving the country “cash.”

Vivek Ramaswamy

  • Ramaswamy proposed a foreign policy that includes a “decouple from Communist China” by negotiating new trade deals, growing the industrial defense base and supporting Taiwanese and domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
  • When he unveiled his foreign policy platform, Ramaswamy said the United States should lean on allies in the region like India and Japan to increase their defense budgets to counter China’s military aggression.
  • After the start of the Israel-Hamas war, Ramaswamy urged a “cool-headed” response to avoid the situation devolving into a larger regional conflict. He condemned the attack by Hamas but said the United States needs to carefully consider what actions it takes in the region.
  • At a NewsNation town hall in August, he said he’d make a “deal” with Russian President Vladimir Putin if elected to end the war in Ukraine and called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “fraud.”

Chris Christie

  • When asked about military action against China, Christie said he “would do what needs to be done in terms of using the U.S. military against China” to defend Taiwan. Earlier this year, Christie criticized the Biden administration’s approach to dealing with China and said Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Beijing came “a day late and a dollar short.”
  • During an interview on “Meet the Press,” Christie said he “absolutely” believes Israel is following international law as it fights Hamas. He said he would not call for a “freeze” in West Bank settlements amid the escalating violence in the region.
  • Christie was the second 2024 Republican presidential hopeful to visit Ukraine, touring ravaged villages and meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. He has said what he saw during his Ukraine visit further impressed upon him the need for the U.S. to continue aid.

Asa Hutchinson

  • As Arkansas governor in 2017, Hutchinson facilitated $1.4 billion in deals with Chinese businesses for expansion in Arkansas. Some companies receiving state tax incentives had connections to his son, The New York Times reported. 
  • Hutchinson voiced backing for Israel in its conflict with Hamas and noted his concern about a trend among some Republican candidates who advocate for isolating the United States from the global community, USA Today reported. 
  • Hutchinson said the U.S. “will continue our support of Ukraine.” “If we stand by and let this nation falter, it leaves a hostile Russia on the doorstep of our NATO allies,” he said, adding, “By taking a supportive and public stand in Ukraine, we’re sending a message to Russia and to China that their aggressive posture towards other nation-states is unacceptable.” 



Source: WFLA

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