Democrat lawmakers and a top adviser to New York City Mayor Eric Adams attended a New Year’s Eve event hosted by the office of a Chinese official who has repeatedly praised the Chinese government and denied the Uyghur genocide.
The event, which took place shortly before another New Year’s event in Times Square that was hosted by a “CCP front organization,” continues a theme of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gaining influence in New York and surrounding states. In a website post, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York announced that more than 120 guests attended a “New Year Open Day in a celebration of cultural exchange” on Sunday.
“As we gather together today to celebrate the dawning of the new year, let’s build on the positive momentum of the San Francisco summit and join hands to build a community with a shared future, featuring openness, inclusiveness, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation,” Chinese Acting Consul General in New York Qian Jin said at the event.
In attendance, according to the post, were New York state Sen. Leroy Comrie, state Assemblyman David Weprin, senior Adams adviser Winnie Greco, New York City Council Member Christopher Marte, Sino-American Friendship Association (SAFA) President Peter Zhang and China Institute CEO George Geh.
China’s New York Consulate General has been criticized over the last few years after its consul general, Huang Ping, praised the CCP in comments and denied the Uyghur genocide. However, he continued to make appearances across the country, meeting with Democrat lawmakers along with top American institutions and universities.
Several prominent venues in New York City have hosted Ping after his controversial comments, and Ping recently met with Democrat lawmakers and business leaders in Pennsylvania as well as officials at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and top executives at liberal media conglomerate Condé Nast.
Fox News Digital previously reported on Ping’s ties to New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul, both Democrats.
New York City also raised eyebrows by hosting another New Year’s event in Times Square with Peter Zhang’s Sino-American Friendship Association.
According to an August 2022 op-ed by the Washington Post’s deputy opinion editor, “China experts have identified” SAFA as “being involved in United Front work — a global effort to propagandize on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.” The organization insisted to the outlet at the time that it was an “independent, nonprofit, non-government organization.”
A Fox News Digital review found that the honorary president of the group is Xikun Yuan, a member of the 11th Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). According to a 2021 report by The Diplomat, the CPPCC is “designed to liaise with non-Communist Party members – and ultimately see them work with the CCP to advance its interests.”
Another report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. government agency, in 2018 said that the CPPCC is a “central part” of China’s United Front system, which works to “co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
Michael Sobolik, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, told Fox News Digital that SAFA is indeed a front group for the Chinese Communist Party.
“The Sino-American Friendship Organization bears many of the hallmarks of a CCP front organization: documented links to United Front work and institutions within China, cooperation and collaboration with PRC consulates and U.S.-based diplomats, and community involvement aimed [at] shaping Americans’ perception of China,” Sobolik said. “This isn’t new information, however. We’ve known SAFA had problematic connections since 2022. That the city of New York continues to associate with them is deeply concerning.”
“A CCP united front organization kicked off the NYE party in Manhattan last night,” he posted on X. “At this point, with all we know about united front groups and how they operate, there’s next to no space left to plead ignorance.
Fox News Digital reached out to the Democrat lawmakers in attendance at the consulate event, Mayor Adams’s office, SAFA and the Chinese consulate, but did not receive a response.
Fox News Digital’s Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.