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Photograph: EPA/MAX WHITTAKER / POOL

Chinese state media attacked US Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump Tuesday for playing the "China-bashing card" in his efforts to shore up his support, and accused him of offering no real ideas on how to improve relations. 

In a speech in Detroit on Monday, Trump said China "breaks the rules in every way imaginable" when it comes to trade with the United States.

This includes the illegal export of subsidized products, currency manipulation, "rampant" intellectual property theft and lax environmental controls, he said. 

Official news agency Xinhua said that, by scapegoating China for the US' lacklustre economic performance, Trump had "betrayed" the Republicans' traditional endorsement of free trade.

"Ironically, the US middle and working classes, to whom Trump and Hillary have been eager to pander, would become the first to take the hit of US trade barriers against China," the Xinhua commentary said, citing a US Chamber of Commerce statistic that Trump's approach would cost 3.5 million US jobs.

"Voters deserve better," Xinhua said.  

China has been criticized by the US and other countries for its cheap exports and subsidies, which allow its manufacturers to grow despite decreasing demand. 

The European Union last month imposed anti-dumping duties on concrete-reinforcing steel imported from China, as part of efforts to stop underpriced goods from flooding the bloc's markets. 

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