Chinese official who praised CCP, denied Uyghur genocide meets with business leaders, Dem lawmakers in PA

A Chinese official recently made the rounds in a Pennsylvania meeting with a local economic development council, scholars at the University of Pennsylvania, and two Democratic state senators despite growing concerns about China’s economic presence in the U.S. and controversial comments the official made praising the Chinese Communist Party.

Huang Ping, who’s been the consul general of China’s New York Consulate since 2018 and previously touted the CCP as a “great party,” was in Philadelphia on Oct. 19 meeting with a pair of Pennsylvania Democratic State Senators, according to a post from the Chinese Consulate in New York. Sharif Street is the chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee while Nikil Saval serves on the appropriations committee and is the minority chair of the urban affairs and housing committee.

“Huang Ping spoke highly of their contribution to the development of China-US relations and mutually beneficial cooperation of Pennsylvania with China,” the consulate posted online. “They agreed that a stable and healthy China-US relationship benefits both countries and peoples.”

The pair of state Pennsylvania state senators had been invited by a constituent to meet with Ping as he was traveling through Philadelphia, a spokesperson for Street’s office told Fox News Digital, adding that the meeting did not imply agreement with the CCP.

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“This meeting does not represent their support for the policies of the Chinese government,” the spokesperson said.

A day after the Philadelphia meeting, Ping was in Chester County, Pennsylvania along with Deputy Consul General Qian Jin meeting with the local the Economic Development Council in conversation where the Chinese government said members “all expressed their willingness to continue playing a positive role in promoting China-US relations, and contribute to bilateral economic and trade cooperation.”

Xinhua News Agency, the official state-run press agency of Beijing, published a report after Ping met with Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) showing Ping present gifts to CCEDC’s president Michael Grigalonis and Pennsylvania Global Business Advisors president F. William Bogle. The article also quoted Grigalonis saying the council and Pennsylvania were “very committed” to China.

“We were very committed. Prior to the (COVID-19) pandemic, one of our real priorities was our relationship with China, (especially) developing economic ties,” Grigalonis said. “And of course, as you say, that pandemic hit, and we got on to other priorities, but there’re still some successes that are in place, and things that we can build on in the future.”

And of course, as you say, that pandemic hit, and we got on to other priorities, but there’re still some successes that are in place, and things that we can build on in the future.”

That same day, Ping stopped by the Center for the Study of Contemporary China of University of Pennsylvania for “talks with Jacques deLisle and scholars.”

In addition to the Pennsylvania stops, Ping made appearances earlier this year at Barclays Center, the Nasdaq MarketSite, and the Empire State Building, rubbing elbows with prominent American business leaders at each stop. 

Ping made those appearances despite previously denying that China was committing genocide against Muslim Uyghurs.

“There are lots of lies here, fabricated by some people with their own political agenda,” Huang said in an August 2021 interview, denying the existence of genocide and internment camps targeting Uyghurs. “As I said, there’s no genocide, not a single evidence to prove that there’s a genocide or something there. It’s just a slandering.”

“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 continued, referring to the CCP. “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.”

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The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the State Department under both the Trump and Biden administrations have assessed China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs. Since 2017, the Chinese government has reportedly imprisoned more than a million Uyghurs in concentration camps, where according to leaked documents from inside China detainees are subjected to rape, torture, forced labor, brainwashing, and forced sterilization.

Fox News Digital reached out to the State Department to inquire about their position on a Chinese official with a history of controversial remarks meeting with lawmakers and speaking at events on the East Coast. While a spokesperson was “deeply concerned” about the Uyghur remarks, the spokesperson would not weigh in on his “Visa records,” saying they were “confidential under U.S. law.”

“Despite increased global attention and strong calls for accountability, the PRC government continues to deny ongoing atrocities against Uyghur people,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “We are deeply concerned by the PRC’s failure to stop its senseless campaign, release those unjustly detained, and transparently address the chorus of concerns raised by the international community.” 

Concerns have also been growing in the United States over China buying up U.S. farmland which has prompted both Republicans and Democrats to work together to curtail those efforts.

Ping’s office told Fox News Digital that the “recent visit to Pennsylvania is just a regular consular job. We visited high schools, universities and companies, had talks with state senators, entrepreneurs and scholars, to enhance sub-national cooperation and friendly communication between China and the US.”

The CCEDC did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Aaron Kliegman contributed to this report

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