President Donald Trump congratulated the People’s Republic of China for its 70th anniversary Tuesday morning. Senate Republicans were in no mood to celebrate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) compared China under President Xi Jinping to a “modern version of Maoist China” and criticized the government for violence against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and placing Uighurs — a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority group — in internment camps.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) warned that “an authoritarian China is perhaps the single greatest threat to freedom around the world,” while Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) emphasized that the 70th anniversary of communist rule was no cause for celebration but “a day to remind ourselves of the horrors inflicted on the Chinese people over this time.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said the American people stand with the “freedom-seekers in Hong Kong,” and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said the Chinese Communist Party has waged “economic warfare against Missourians through currency manipulation and tariffs targeting our farmers.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a close Trump ally, said “it has been a ghoulish 70 years of Chinese Communist Party control.”
In the House, Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) lambasted the Chinese government’s “appalling record of repression.”