Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has accused China of “raping” the US, in renewed criticism of China’s trade policy.
He told a rally in Indiana that China was responsible for “the greatest theft in the history of the world”.
Mr Trump, a billionaire businessman, has long accused China of manipulating its currency to make its exports more competitive globally.
This, he says, has badly damaged US businesses and workers.
“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,” he added. “We have a lot of power with China.”
In his campaign manifesto , Mr Trump pledges to “cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete”.
He 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”.
This is the first time Mr Trump has used the word “rape” in the context of China and trade, but his campaign 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.