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Donald Trump accuses China of ‘raping’ US with unfair trade policy
- Updated: May 2, 2016
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday likened America’s trade deficit with China to “rape,” accusing the Asian nation of “the greatest theft in the history of the world.” Trump, who is currently leading the GOP nomination race by a wide margin, was speaking at a rally in Indiana ahead of the state’s critical, and potentially decisive, primary later this week.
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what we’re doing,” he told the campaign rally on Sunday.
“We’re going to turn it around, and we have the cards, don’t forget it. We have a lot of power with China.”
Speaking in Fort Wayne, Mr Trump said he was not “angry at China”, but with US leaders who he said were “grossly incompetent”.
Mr Trump, in his campaign manifesto, has pledged to “cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete”.
He set out four goals that include immediately declaring China “a currency manipulator” and putting “an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labour and environmental standards”.
Latest figures from the US government show the trade deficit with China reached an all-time high of $365.7bn ast year. By February this year, it had already reached $57bn, the BBC reported.
There was no immediate response from Beijing to Mr Trump’s comments.
Last week, the US Treasury placed China and others on a currency watchlist, after pressure on the US government to be more robust in combating any currency manipulation by trading partners.
The Treasury stated that none of its large trading partners had engaged in currency manipulation in the past year, but indicated it was concerned about growing imbalances with some of those partners, including China.
Mr Trump’s use of the rape analogy come as Trump is under fire for remarks he made about Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton that critics have said were sexist and for boasting about the endorsement of boxer Mike Tyson, who was convicted of rape in Indiana.
This is the first time Mr Trump has used the word “rape” in the context of China and trade, but his campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination has been punctuated by inflammatory comments. He was confronted by hundreds of protesters in California on Friday before giving a speech to the state’s Republican convention. Mr Trump was forced to enter the building by the back entrance.
Protesters were angry at his views on immigration: he has advocated building a border wall with Mexico, and has also referred to Mexicans as “rapists and murderers” and criminals responsible for bringing illegal drugs into the US.
Polls suggest Mr Trump is several points ahead of his nearest rival, Ted Cruz, in Tuesday’s primary. Mr Trump has said – and Mr Cruz has effectively concded – that the Republican race is over, if he wins here.