Donald Trump has accused China of “raping” the United States, in renewed criticism of the Asian country’s trade policy.
The Republican presidential front-runner told a rally in Indiana that China was responsible for “the greatest theft in the history of the world”.
Donald Trump has long accused China of manipulating its currency to make its exports more competitive globally.
On May 1, Donald Trump told the campaign rally: “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what we’re doing.
“We’re going to turn it around, and we have the cards, don’t forget it,” he added. “We have a lot of power with China.”
Chinese PM Li Keqiang has said the US election “has been lively and has caught the eye”, but many in his country see it as more than that.
They consider Donald Trump an inspiration rather than an antagonist.
In his America First campaign manifesto, Donald Trump pledges to “cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete”.
Donald Trump sets out four goals that include immediately declaring China “a currency manipulator” and putting “an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards”.
According to latest figures, the US trade deficit with China reached an all-time high of $365.7 billion in 2015. By February 2016 the trade deficit had already reached $57 billion.
This is the first time Donald Trump has used the word “rape” in the context of China and trade, but his campaign has been punctuated by inflammatory comments.