Whatr is Desantis Stance on China?

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florida governor ron desantis, desantis’s anticipated announcement to run for presidency

florida governor ron desantis, desantis’s anticipated announcement to run for presidency

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to launch the 2024 presidential bid via Twitter on Wednesday evening. We know who DeSantis is – but what’s his stance on a spate of sticking US foreign policy issues? Sputnik explores.

Ron DeSantis graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School and has been serving as the 26th Florida governor since January 2019. While at Harvard, he joined the US Navy as a judge advocate general and was later deployed to Iraq, where he was a legal adviser to a Navy SEAL commander.

The 44-year-old left active duty in 2010, being decorated with a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service and the Iraq Campaign Medal, among other commendations.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media in the Florida Cabinet following his State of the State address during a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.05.2023

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In 2012, the father of three ran in the Republican primary for Florida’s sixth congressional district, snatching a victory with 30% of the vote. DeSantis was re-elected in 2014 and 2016. Two years later, he ran for governor of Florida, narrowly defeating Democratic rival Andrew Gillum 49.6-49.2.

During the November 8, 2022, midterm elections, DeSantis won a landslide victory for a second term as he prevailed over Democratic rival Charlie Crist 59% to 40%. It was the widest margin in a Florida gubernatorial race since Jeb Bush, the state’s 43rd governor, won it by almost 13 points in 2002.

DeSantis is depicted by many as a conservative, who purportedly shares many US foreign policy-related views with former POTUS Donald Trump despite the two currently maintaining a far-from-friendly relationship, especially in light of the latest opinion polls indicating the Florida governor prevails over the 46th president in terms of approval rating.

What’s DeSantis Stance on Ukraine?

“While the U.S. has many vital national interests … becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis stated back in March.

“A policy of “regime change” in Russia (no doubt popular among the DC foreign policy interventionists) would greatly increase the stakes of the conflict, making the use of nuclear weapons more likely,” he added.

The Florida governor was forced to backtrack some his comments on the Ukraine conflict, after other GOP politicians attacked for him being “soft” on Russia. DeSantis put out a subsequent statement saying that he opposed Moscow’s decision to launch its special military operation in Ukraine and would welcome Kiev regaining control over the Donbass and Crimea.

“There’s a lot of ethnic Russians there. So, that’s some difficult fighting, and that’s what I was referring to, and so it wasn’t that I thought Russia had a right to that, and so if I should have made that more clear, I could have done it”, he said.

Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, American man-portable anti-tank missile provided by US to Ukraine as part of a military support, upon its delivery at Kiev's airport Borispol on February 11, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.05.2023

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What Does He Think of China?

DeSantis has called China a “hostile country”, and he took a spate of steps that he said were meant to contain Beijing’s expanding global clout. The measures include banning Confucius Institutes from Florida’s public universities and increasing penalties for corporate espionage conducted on behalf of foreign entities.

In an interview with a Japanese newspaper, DeSantis went so far as to draw parallels between China and the USSR (which collapsed in 1991).

“If you look at where we are at this juncture in the 21st century, what the Soviet Union was to us, that’s really what China represents in terms of the threat to the free world. In many respects, the Chinese Communist Party is stronger than what the Soviet Union was, certainly economically,” he argued. The Florida governor claimed that the number one issue that the US currently faces internationally is checking the growth and the rise of China.

Later in that same interview, DeSantis asserted that China represented a bigger ‘threat’ to US global hegemony than Russia.

Earlier this month, he called the Communist Party of China “the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat.” The remarks came as DeSantis signed a series of bills that bans Chinese citizens from buying land in Florida.

What are DeSantis Thoughts on Iran, JCPOA?

DeSantis supports the GOP’s hawkish stance on Iran, once tweeting that “the only way to deal with a maniacal regime like Iran is from a position of strength.”

He claimed that making diplomatic concessions to Tehran “in the hope of engineering better behavior will not work when a regime is dedicated to a totalitarian and suicidal ideology.”

The Florida politician has repeatedly opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), calling it “a bad deal that will significantly degrade our [US] national security.”

He asserted the JCPOA gives Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei “exactly what he wants: billions of dollars in sanctions relief, validation of the Iranian nuclear program, and the ability to stymie inspections.”

According to DeSantis, the damage done by the Iran deal “has been significant, mostly due to the massive cash infusion the deal gave to the Khamenei regime and particularly to the IRGC [Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps].”

These claims are disputed by many US foreign policy experts and former diplomats, who note that Iran had lived up to its obligations under the JCPOA prior to the Trump administration’s 2018 decision to pull out of the agreementl

How Does DeSantis Assess the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

In a clear-cut sign of support for Tel Aviv, he earlier tweeted that he promised to be “the most pro-Israel governor in America” and that the two sides’ “bold agenda […] strengthens Florida’s ties with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.03.2023

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On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he argued that if one looks at “this whole” standoff, “to me, the biggest problem has been that Palestinian Arabs have not recognized Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” DeSantis then referred to “that kind” of what he described as “denialism”, which “poisons really everything.”

What is the GOP Hopeful’s Position on Afghanistran?

DeSantis denounced the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, claiming that that the process was poorly planned. He pointed the finger at President Joe Biden and accused him of making Afghanistan vulnerable to alleged exploitation by China, Russia, and other geopolitical rivals of the US.

“After 9/11, we needed to go in and rout the Taliban* and al-Qaeda**. But I think in hindsight, we should have come home after that. I think trying to do the democracy and all that, I think has been very problematic”, DeSantis said, also condemning the 2021 Kabul airport attack that claimed the lives of 13 American soldiers.

* the group is under UN sanctions over terrorist activities

** the terrorist group banned in Russia and many oher countries





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