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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 TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll 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 RoyDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majority Texas Republicans sound post-2020 alarm bells The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Smart or senseless for Biden to spend time in Georgia, Iowa? MORE (R-Texas) tweeted in response to Trump.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHouse Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 McCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments Steve King defends past comments on white supremacy, blasts NYT and GOP leaders in fiery floor speech 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 McConnellTop Senate GOP super PAC makes final .6M investment in Michigan Senate race On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Overnight Health Care: House Dem report blasts Trump coronavirus response | Regeneron halts trial of antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients | McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 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 SasseTrump looks to shore up support in Nebraska GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him MORE (R-Neb.) and Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonCotton mocks NY Times over claim of nonpartisanship, promises to submit op-eds as test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans 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 McCarthyThe truth, the whole truth about protecting preexisting conditions McCarthy urges networks not to call presidential race until 'every polling center has closed' House Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 MORE (R-Calif.) tweeted Tuesday afternoon, citing the shooting.

Some Trump administration officials, such as Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUPDATED: Pompeo's son raised 'hackathon' event in email to State Department Pompeo: US citizens born in Jerusalem can now list Israel on passports The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE, have spoken out about China's human rights abuses specifically related to Uighur Muslims.

Updated at 4:24 p.m.