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Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has launched a stinging attack on the “authoritarian rulers” of both the US and China.

He said President Donald Trump was a “conman and the ultimate narcissist” who had breached the limits of the US constitution.

And he said China’s President Xi Jinping was using technology to exert total control over Chinese life.

“The world would be a better place if they weren’t in power,” Mr Soros said.

Using his annual speech at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, the financier warned of a growing threat from populism and climate change, while pledging $1bn towards a new global university network to tackle intolerance.

But the businessman – who is a major donor to the US Democratic party – said Beijing and Washington posed the biggest threat to “open societies”.

“Both [leaders] try to extend the powers of their office to its limit and beyond.

“Trump is willing to sacrifice the national interests for his personal interests and he will do practically anything to win re-election.

“By contrast, Xi Jinping is eager to exploit Trump’s weaknesses and use artificial intelligence to achieve total control over his people.”

The White House was approached for comment.

Mr Soros also targeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the Indian state was “imposing punitive measures on Kashmir, a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and threatening to deprive millions of Muslims of their citizenship”.

He was referring to two controversial decisions made by Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist government.

The first was to strip the disputed Kashmir region of its semi-autonomous status and place it under virtual lockdown.

The second is the introduction and passage of a controversial citizenship law that critics say is discriminatory towards Muslims.

It seeks to fast-track Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from three nearby Muslim-majority countries.

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