WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday criticized President Donald Trump's abrupt about-face on Chinese telecom company ZTE, suggesting the president misunderstands the issue.

"I  hope this isn't the beginning of backing down to China," Rubio said on Twitter.

Rubio, who has been sharply critical of China, said the issue "isn't jobs & trade, it's national security & espionage. Any telecomm firm in #China can be forced to act as tool of Chinese espionage without any court order or any other review process. We are crazy to allow them to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions."

ZTE stopped its operations recently after the U.S. cut off access to American suppliers. But over the weekend, Trump tweeted that he wanted to help ZTE "get back into business, fast."

"Too many jobs in China lost," Trump said.