The purchase of farmland by a Chinese business in North Dakota, just a few miles from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, which houses secret drone technology, has lawmakers worried.
China’s Fufeng Group, a manufacturer of taste enhancers and sugar alternatives, has acquired 300 acres in the region.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who opposes the transaction and thinks the firm is a front for the Chinese government, has voiced his objection.
“I think we grossly under-appreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, and using it in nefarious ways. And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my backyard.”
The powerful Senate Intelligence Committee’s chair, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), reiterated that opinion.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has been loudly sounding the alarm about the counterintelligence threat posed by the (People’s Republic of China). We should be seriously concerned about Chinese investment in locations close to sensitive sites, such as military bases around the U.S.”
Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) submitted a letter to the Biden administration earlier this month requesting a review of a Chinese company’s purchase of acreage in North Dakota that is only 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, where drone technology is kept.
According to Fufeng Group, it intends to utilize the property to construct a $700 million maize milling factory, which will provide at least 200 jobs and leave room for more possibilities in logistics, transportation, and other services.
However, American military leaders are sounding the alarm. Senior Air Force commanders issued a document in April cautioning that the Fufeng Group’s presence in Grand Forks, a town of under 60,000 people, posed a threat to national security.
The strategic advantages enjoyed by the United States would be severely harmed by a Chinese company with easy access to such data.