Trump congratulates China on anniversary as GOP lawmakers decry communist rule

Trump congratulates China on anniversary as GOP lawmakers decry communist rule
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE on Tuesday congratulated the People's Republic of China on its 70th anniversary in a sharp contrast from several Republican lawmakers who decried the legacy of the country's communist rule.

Tuesday marked 70 years since Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China after communist forces won a civil war in the country.

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Trump congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping on the anniversary on Twitter. 

Several Republican lawmakers took a more adversarial tone than Trump in recognizing the anniversary, choosing instead to highlight the country's human rights abuses.

"I will pass," Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Trump congratulates China on anniversary as GOP lawmakers decry communist rule Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state MORE (R-Texas) tweeted in response to Trump.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHouse Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Republicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings' death House Foreign Affairs leaders introduce Turkey sanctions bill MORE (R-Wyo.) issued a somber statement saying it was "not a day for celebration."

"Since its founding, the People’s Republic of China has deprived its citizens of their fundamental human rights and human dignity," Cheney said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhite House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours The Memo: Trump's sea of troubles deepens McConnell: Trump's troop pull back in Syria a 'grave strategic mistake' MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement that the Chinese Communist Party's methods are "not just a tragedy for more than a billion Chinese," but "also a telling indicator of the threat the PRC poses to its neighbors."

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric Sasse NBA commissioner says China asked league to fire Rocket's GM Lawmakers set to host fundraisers focused on Nats' World Series trip Hong Kong protesters trample, burn LeBron James jerseys in wake of comments MORE (R-Neb.) and Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protesters Lawmakers set to host fundraisers focused on Nats' World Series trip MORE (R-Ark.), a staunch Trump ally, cited China's ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as evidence of the country's repressive government.

"The Butchers of Beijing celebrate 70 years of communist tyranny by shooting a student marching for freedom in Hong Kong," Cotton tweeted. "What a sadly appropriate way to mark a dark, lamentable anniversary." 

Trump has made his relationship with China a cornerstone of his administration as he seeks a trade agreement with Beijing. The president previously delayed the implementation of increased tariffs on Chinese goods as a gesture of goodwill toward China.

Trump drew criticism for his response to protests in Hong Kong, where demonstrators have flooded the streets and other public places. The president has urged China to resolve the issue peacefully, but has not delivered a full-throated statement of support of the protesters.

He has also claimed that ongoing trade negotiations have helped limit potential violence.

Hong Kong police shot one protester in the chest during a demonstration on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

"This is what 70 years of Communist rule looks like in China—freedom is trampled and dissent is silenced," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment GOP leader defends Mulvaney amid backlash over quid pro quo comments Republicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings' death MORE (R-Calif.) tweeted Tuesday afternoon, citing the shooting.

Some Trump administration officials, such as Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoErdoğan got the best of Trump, experts warn Graham: I'm seeking to make Trump successful 'but not at all costs' Ex-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump MORE, have spoken out about China's human rights abuses specifically related to Uighur Muslims.

Updated at 4:24 p.m.