Angry over what he views as U.S. kowtowing to the Chinese, Donald Trump declared Tuesday that China "is our enemy" and "wouldn't exist" without America as the biggest market for its products.
In a telephone interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, the real estate and entertainment billionaire also criticized the Chinese government for not intervening in the Korean crisis, saying it could be resolved with "one phone call."
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"They could solve that problem in about one phone call," he said. "But they don't because they're taunting us because they think we're not the smartest folks on the planet."
Trump dismissed claims from some foreign policy experts that China is just as confused by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's behavior as is the rest of the world.
"They're not flummoxed," he said, adding that Chinese leaders "love that we're spending time on this problem" as they move to solidify their economic and political influence in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries from which the United States has all but withdrawn.
"You know, it's almost like a diversion tactic. . . They could solve that [Korean crisis] with one phone call if they wanted to."
It's a disgrace . . . North Korea can`t survive without China," Trump continued. "They get them their food. They get them everything. They get them weapons. They get them everything."
Trump was also highly critical of U.S. outreach efforts to China in search of increased investment in both government and private ventures.
He was particularly outraged at California Gov. Jerry Brown's current trip to China in search of investments in energy and other projects. He also blasted Apple CEO Tim Cook's letter last week to Chinese consumers apologizing for the company's customer service and warranty policies there.
"Jerry has to be very, very careful, because remember China is not our friend," said Trump, suggesting that some of China's other investments in private-public projects in the U.S. have been plagued by cost overruns. He also noted that China's currency manipulation and other trade practices have crippled the ability of the U.S. and other countries to compete worldwide.
As for Cook's apology, Trump said as an investor in the company he's "a little disappointed in what's going on at Apple" and suggested that Cook's letter is an indication that "he's perhaps not what we're looking for" to head the company.
He made a point of noting that Apple’s founder, the late Steve Jobs, would have never apologized to a country that's been accused of stealing his company’s technology.
"That was a very bad thing," he said.
As a long-time advocate of tightening trade and other economic policies toward China, Trump said it was time for U.S. government and business leaders to realize they do have some advantages over the Chinese.
"China wouldn`t exist without us," he said. "Frankly, if we ever tax Chinese products coming in, they would virtually go out of business and they would have depressions like you haven`t seen depressions before.
"We have all of the cards," he continued. "We just don`t know it. Our leaders are not smart. Our leaders are being laughed at in China."
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