The State Department is considering expelling New York's Chinese consul general after the official was allegedly caught on tape saying he helped incite violent attacks in Queens against the Falun Gong spiritual group.
Consul General Peng Keyu was recorded claiming he secretly "encouraged" protests against the group during four days of clashes this spring, including a bloody assault in Flushing by anti-Falun Gong demonstrators on May 20 that led to 16 arrests, Falun Gong members said.
The next day, a Falun Gong investigator posing as a sympathizer called Peng and asked him about the protesters, they said.
"I have kept a very good relationship with them . . . but we encouraged them secretly," Peng says on the tape, a copy of which has been reviewed by State Department officials and by The Post.
"After they fought with the Falun Gong, I shook hands with them one by one and thanked them."
He adds: "Yet I must not do things like that right in front of the Falun Gong. I parked my car far from the scene because I must avoid being seen by them. "
Asked if he had given "guidance" to the protesters, he says, "Yes, I have done it. I do it frequently, including this time, when I went out to the scene . . . I have even agitated them."
A State Department official confirmed that the voice on the tape is Peng's. A transcript of the interview was published in The Epoch Times, a Falun Gong newspaper, and its translation was verified by The Post.
State Department officials said pulling Peng's credentials was an option, although they haven't made any decision on the matter.
"We've taken no action so far," said a State Department spokeswoman.
Calls to the consulate were not returned.