Trump offered his praise in a tweet Tuesday morning shortly after clashes between authorities and activists reached a fever pitch when Hong Kong police shot a teenage demonstrator at close range, hitting him in the chest.
Unlike Trump, his fellow Republicans aren’t celebrating and instead slammed the Chinese government’s abuses of power.
In a joint statement, Reps. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Liz Cheney of Wyoming said it was “an opportunity to remember the victims, past and present, of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“Today the CCP continues to wage a campaign of aggression at home and abroad,” they said, describing the country as “a nightmarish totalitarian dystopia.”
“It is for [Chinese citizens’] future, as well as that of their fellow victims in Xinjiang, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and beyond, that we rededicate ourselves to ensuring that the Chinese Communist Party is left on the ash heap of history,” they continued.
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Reps. Richard Hudson of North Carolina and Chip Roy of Texas were among others within the GOP who spoke out, calling the anniversary “lamentable” and condemning the shooting of the protester.
According to The Associated Press, the teen is in critical condition. Hong Kong Police Commissioner Stephen Lo has defended the use of force as “reasonable and lawful,” claiming the officer responsible was acting in fear of his life, the outlet reported.
Hudson said he was “alarmed” by the action, demanding the government “show restraint.”
“The People’s Republic of China is a repressive regime with a terrible human rights record, and I stand with its citizens in their quest for democracy and self-determination,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Fox News analyst Brit Hume and other conservative media figures delivered scathing and direct rebukes of Trump’s tweet, dismissing any notion that the anniversary was worth fanfare.
“This is gross,” Hume wrote. “Celebrating a brutal dictatorship on its survival.”