Donald Trump, Marco Rubio differ on Chinese communist Xi’s ‘political victory’

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in April. (Doug Mills/New York Times)

As President Donald Trump visits Chinese President and former Mar-a-Lago guest Xi Jinping in Beijing, he and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are expressing decidedly different views of China’s communist leader.

Trump, in a Wednesday tweet, said he’s looking forward to meeting with Xi, “who is just off his great political victory.”

Xi recently tightened his grip on power at China’s 19th Communist Party Congress, which added Xi’s name and ideology to its constitution. Trump called it an “extraordinary elevation” in an Oct. 25 tweet.

In a tweet this afternoon, Rubio didn’t mention Trump but clearly took aim at the president’s assessment of Xi.

“President Xi’s further consolidation of power, in a one-party communist state, was not a political victory,” Rubio tweeted. “It was a tragedy for human rights advocates, reformers and thousands of political prisoners. Chinese Govt must be challenged to abide by int’l commitments & rule of law.”

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