Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican field, urged the U.S. to put pressure on China just a month before that country’s president Xi Jinping is set to visit the White House.
Fiorina said that the U.S. cannot let China control a trade route for $5 trillion worth of economic activity each year.
“We are going to have to be more aggressive in helping our allies in the region push back against new Chinese aggression, whether those allies are Australia, or Japan, or the Philippines,” Fiorina told CBS News on Wednesday. “Now that China’s economy is wavering a bit, I would be conducting more flyovers on the South China Sea. We cannot permit China to control a trade route through which passes $5 trillion worth of goods and services every year.”
The value of China’s currency – the renminbi – has been dropping precipitously this week.
Fiorina also said the U.S. must brace itself for cyberattacks.
“Finally, I would say these Chinese cyberattacks are an act of aggression on the United States, and they must stop,” she told CBS. “It is also true that our government has to be more competent about detecting and repelling those attacks.”
China is alleged to be behind a series of cyberattacks on the U.S. government. A report out last week found that a Chinese hacker group has been been targeting defense, commercial and political organizations around the globe.
Fiorina has enjoyed increased attention after a breakout performance at last week’s “kids table” Republican debate, hosted by Fox News.