A Chinese official linked to New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who praised China's ruling Communist Party as "great" and dismissed reports of systematic persecution against minorities inside China as "lies," amplified a tweet this week saying it is crucial for his country and Russia to improve relations.
Huang Ping, who has been the consul general of China's New York Consulate since 2018, retweeted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson and Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Hua Chunying, who called on China and Russia to work closer together.
"With China and Russia working together, the world will have the driving force toward multipolarity and greater democracy in international relations, and global strategic balance and stability will be better ensured," wrote Hua. "The more unstable the world becomes, the more imperative it is for China and Russia to steadily advance their relations."
The tweets were part of a lengthy thread, all retweeted by Huang, in which Hua described the China-Russia relationship as one based on "no-alliance and no-confrontation" and "featuring strategic trust and good neighborliness, setting a good example for a new type of international relations."
The tweets came two days before Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told lawmakers at a Senate hearing that while she would not describe the China-Russia relationship as a "love affair," it is "continuing to deepen" and cooperation is increasing, "Across every sector."
That point was echoed in the intelligence community's latest annual threat assessment, which was released this week.
"Despite global backlash over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China will maintain its diplomatic, defense, economic and technology cooperation with Russia to continue trying to challenge the United States, even as it will limit public support," the report states.
In addition to retweeting fellow Chinese government officials, Huang often rubs elbows with prominent American business and political leaders — including Hochul, with whom he has appeared frequently in public.
Last month, for example, a video posted to social media showed Hochul waving a Chinese flag and walking with Huang at a parade to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Hochul met with Huang before then on several occasions.
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.
"I look forward to continuing to strengthen our culture, social, and economic ties in the future," Hochul said months later in a letter written for an event promoting U.S.-China relations.
Then a few days before Christmas in 2021, Huang attended an event on Long Island that supported the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing. In his two tweets about the event, he wrote he was "glad" to attend with a couple local lawmakers and mentioned Hochul's deputy chief of staff at the time, 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.
Beyond Hochul, some of the most prominent venues in New York City — including Barclays Center, the Nasdaq MarketSite, and the Empire State Building — have recently hosted Huang as an honored guest.
However, despite the warm reception in New York, Huang has a history of making controversial remarks. Most notably, he has frequently praised the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and staunchly defended China's treatment of Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority, in the region of Xinjiang.
"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."
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 1 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.
Huang also called the CCP a "great party" and described the camps in which Uyghurs are detained as educational.
"I see these centers as a campus, rather than camps," he said. "We get these people there to be educated. And this has been quite effective in terms of countering terrorism and in de-radicalization. Up to now, there has not been a single terrorist attack in exactly four years."
When previously reached for comment, the Chinese consulate in New York echoed Huang's comments, telling Fox News Digital that the "Xinjiang-related issue is not about human rights" and that a "lie told a thousand times is nothing but still a lie."
In April 2022, Huang made headlines for delivering a speech at the 25th annual Harvard College China Forum at Harvard Business School, where he called on Americans to be more "tolerant to diversity" and to accept China's way of governance.