Vivek Ramaswamy, who entered the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination last month, is calling on the United States to adopt a “Declaration of Independence” that would end its economic entanglement with China.
Comparing China with the Soviet Union, Ramaswamy said on Sunday that the key difference between the two communist regimes is that the latter had never so deeply embedded itself in the U.S. market.
“The key difference today is, unlike the USSR in the last century, we never depended on the Soviet Union for the shoes on our feet or phones in our pocket. That is the case today,” Ramaswamy said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
“And I think it’s the number one threat we face,” he continued. “And so I’m actually delivering a vision of national identity that hopefully allows us to make the short-run sacrifices we’ll need to on the global stage to actually win as a country over the long run.”
A millionaire investor and author, Ramaswamy spoke about the idea of declaring “independence” from China on several occasions, including in his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week.
“If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, that is the Declaration of Independence he would sign,” he told his audience at the national conservative event. “That is the Declaration of Independence I will sign if I’m elected as your next president.”
“We’re in a codependent relationship with our enemy,” he added, noting that “codependent relationships do not end well.”
“They send the fentanyl across our southern border, they send the digital fentanyl through TikTok, financial fentanyl in the form of the national debt that’s created this addictive relationship to China. We declare independence. We’re done with financial fentanyl, digital fentanyl, actual fentanyl.”
To actually implement such a declaration, according to Ramaswamy, the United States must go as far as to “ban most U.S. businesses from doing business in China” until the Chinese Communist Party collapses or “radically reforms” itself. “There is no easy way out but to take that bandage and rip it right away,” he argued.
“I’m sorry, Henry Kissinger. We’re done with your experiment,” the 37-year-old businessman said, referring to President Richard Nixon’s top diplomat whose strategy aimed to integrate China as a full member of the global economy in hope that economic liberalization in China would eventually lead to political reform.
“We need to start thinking about the timescales of history, not the timescales of election cycles. We don’t need [Neville] Chamberlain, we need a bit of [Winston] Churchill in this country,” he added. As prime ministers of Great Britain, Chamberlain is remembered for his support for the policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany over the annexation of Czechoslovakia, while Churchill is known for leading the country through the war his predecessor sought to avoid via territorial concessions.
If he won the White House in 2024, Ramaswamy would also shut down the federal Department of Education, he told the CPAC crowd, saying that the agency “has no reason to exist.” In addition, he vowed to repeal Executive Order 11246, a long-standing affirmative action policy he described as a mandate of race quotas in federally funded workplaces.
Ramaswamy will face off against former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley in the contest for the nomination. Both Ramaswamy and Haley are of Indian ancestry.
Another two Trump administration alumni, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, are also reported to be considering running for president.