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Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul repeatedly met with a Chinese government official who claimed that human rights violations in China were “lies” and praised the Communist Party of China (CPC) as a “great party.”
Huang Ping, who has been the consul general of China’s New York Consulate since 2018, has met with Hochul multiple times going back to when she was the lieutenant governor.
According to a post on the website of the Chinese consulate, Hochul and Huang met in April 2019 when she was the lieutenant governor to discuss cooperation between New York and China. The post includes a picture of them standing beside each other and smiling while holding a certificate that she presented to him for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Last February, he called her an “old friend” in a Facebook post, featuring a video of her, and has attended other events with her.
“I look forward to continuing to strengthen our culture, social, and economic ties in the future,” Hochul said in a letter written for an event promoting U.S.-China relations back in November.
The CPC is known for utilizing statecraft at the local level to advance its interests. According to a report authored by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, China “uses relationships that Beijing builds with state and local leaders as tools for advancing a strategic campaign of malign influence in the United States.”
Last August, Ping appeared on the “Sinica Podcast” where he defended the CPC (commonly referred to as CCP), echoed Beijing’s talking points on Taiwan, and said that reports about the inhumane treatment of Uyghur Muslims were not true despite the State Department and Holocaust Museum repeatedly saying China is committing genocide.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul addresses the media during the 2021 New York City Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2021, in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)
The podcast host told Huang there is “a lot of misunderstanding” from Americans about the CPC and asked him to convey how he would describe the party, prompting Huang to call it a “great party.”
“It’s a party of mission and responsibility. It represents the overall interest of the Chinese people. The mission of this party is quite clear,” Huang said. “Three things: Number one was to deliver a better life for the Chinese people, number two is striving for the rejuvenation of China as a nation, and number three is striving for the common good of the world.”
Huang then defended the CPC by saying that since it is “representing the overall interests of the people” in China, the Chinese people don’t have to be “worrying about the elections” like citizens in other countries with multiparty systems. He continued by touting the GDP in China and said that “without the CPC there will be no new China.”
Huang was later asked about the American perspective on Taiwan, prompting him to quip that he doesn’t think “many Americans know where Taiwan is” and said that Taiwan and the mainland are from the “same family.” He went on to dismiss U.S. policy on Taiwan by saying the U.S. “think[s] they are protecting a country” and that it is just trying to push its “own political agenda.” Last month, the Chinese communist government threatened the United States, saying it would pay an “unbearable cost” for helping Taiwan.
“We believe Taiwan is purely internal affair of China,” Huang said. “Why should America put their hands – put your hands to meddling in this internal affairs of China?”
Last week, he posted on Facebook that he hoped “Taiwan #compatriots” listened to the message of the CPC and “will march on the right path and understand the righteous cause, and join us in upholding the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, resolutely opposing separatist activities aimed at ‘Taiwan independence.’”
Near the end of interview, the podcast host mentioned that U.S. officials have used the term “genocide” to refer to the Uyghur internment camps in Xinjiang, drawing a chuckle from Huang, and asked him what he would say to people, including himself, who are concerned and can’t get behind Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang.
People stage a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy after the Uyghur Tribunal ruled that China committed genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities through policies such as coerced birth control and sterilization in London, United Kingdom, on Dec. 9, 2021. ( Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency)
“There are lots of lies here fabricated by some people with their own political agenda,” Huang said, denying the existence of genocide and internment camps.
“As I said, there’s no genocide, not single evidence to prove that there’s a genocide or something there. It’s just a slandering,” Huang said. “As for the vocational and education training center, I think these centers are set by the law … to counterterrorism matters aimed at targeting the terrorism and the religious extremists.”
A survivor of one of the internment camps in Xinjiang told Fox News last year that she was repeatedly raped and that she suffered “mental torture and physical torture.” She added, “I was also beaten – I was kicked and stamped on – once so much on my private parts that I was bleeding, and I since had to have my ovaries removed.”
Huang echoed the position of the CPC when pressed on the treatment of Uyghurs and other minority groups.
“I see these centers as a campus rather than camps,” Huang continued. “We get these people there to be educated and this has been quite effective in terms of countering the terrorism and deradicalization.”
“There’s another issue called the forced labor, right? You’ve heard a lot about this. The U.S. even imposed sanctions on that and I want to say there’s no forced labor there,” Huang said. “People can choose whatever the job they want to do. Do it or not, it’s on their own will and they can just sign the contract and their interest can be protected by law.”
In an emailed statement to Fox News Digital on Wednesday, the Chinese consulate in New York echoed Huang’s comments, saying that “Xinjiang-related issue is not about human rights” and that a “lie told a thousand times is nothing but still a lie.”
“Over the past century, the CPC has kept to its founding aspiration and mission of striving for the happiness of the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and the significant achievements are well recognized,” the emailed statement said. “Xinjiang-related issue is not about human rights. It’s about counter-terrorism and deradicalization. The misleading reports by some western media are totally not in accordance with facts. A lie told a thousand times is nothing but still a lie.”
Huang made the comments a few months before the consulate hired a New Jersey-based public relations firm to run an influence campaign on behalf of China ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Vippi Media was hired last month by the consulate for $300,000, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
A security guard wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus patrols past a Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games decoration for a welcome ceremony for the Frame of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, held at the Olympic Tower in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Huang, who created a Twitter account a few months ago, has used his social media profile to promote the upcoming Olympics in Beijing and tweeted a few days before Christmas that he attended an event on Long Island that supported the upcoming Olympics.
In his two tweets about the event, he says he was “glad” to attend with a couple local lawmakers and mentioned Hochul’s deputy chief of staff, Linda Sun, being there. In a follow-up tweet, he said, “We appreciate @GovKathyHochul sent the Congratulation Letter to the Event,” which China Daily, a Chinese state-run media outlet, claimed was read by Sun at the event. Sun “liked” Ping’s tweet.
Fox News Digital reached out to Hochul’s office to obtain a copy of the letter and to inquire about her working relationship with Ping and whether she agreed with Ping ‘s rhetoric on the podcast, but her office did not respond by press time.
The Chinese consulate ignored Fox News Digital’s questions about how many meetings Huang has had with Hochul and did not specify his involvement with the influence campaign promoting the Beijing Olympics other than saying the Beijing Olympics “should not be politicalized” and said it’s a “great opportunity” to “enhance the China-US relations.”