Lawmakers Seek Review of Chinese Purchase of Farmland Adjacent to U.S. Military Base

(Photo: Thomas Watkins, Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images)
Thomas Watkins, Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

Lawmakers are concerned about a Chinese company’s purchase of farmland in North Dakota just miles away from Grand Forks Air Force Base where sensitive drone technology is housed.

Fufeng Group, a Shandong, China-based company, which produces flavor enhancers and sugar substitutes, recently purchased 300 acres in the state.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) expressed opposition to the sale and sees the company as a front for the Chinese government.

“I think we grossly under appreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” Cramer told CNBC. “And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my back yard.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who chairs the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, echoed that sentiment.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee has been loudly sounding the alarm about the counterintelligence threat posed by the (People’s Republic of China),” Warner said in New York Post report.  “We should be seriously concerned about Chinese investment in locations close to sensitive sites, such as military bases around the U.S.”

As Breitbart News reported:

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) earlier this month wrote a letter to the Biden administration asking for a review a Chinese company’s purchase of North Dakota farmland located just 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base where drone technology is stored.

The New York Post reported on the development:

Fufeng Group said it is planning to use the land to build a $700 million corn milling plant that would create at least 200 jobs as well as residual opportunities for logistics, trucking, and other services.

But U.S. military officials are raising the alarm nonetheless. Senior Air Force officers circulated a memo in April warning that the presence of Fufeng Group in Grand Forks, a town of just 60,000 people, was a national security threat.

A Chinese firm with close proximity to such data “would present a costly national security risk causing grave damage to United States’ strategic advantages.”

“Some of the most sensitive elements of Grand Forks exist with the digital uplinks and downlinks inherent with unmanned air systems and their interaction with space-based assets,” wrote U.S. Air Force Maj. Jeremy Fox.

The Post reported three North Dakotans sold the land to Fufeng Group for $2.6 million, according to CNBC.

AgDaily reported that lawmakers are trying to advance a bill through Congress that would bar foreign entities, including China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea, from buying up American farmland.

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