China threatens national security by buying land next to military base, 51 Republicans tell Biden cabinet: GOP says North Dakota facility has ‘intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities’ – and communist encroachment
- Fufeng Group, a Chinese-based manufacturer with close ties to the CCP purchased 300 acres of land in Grand Forks, North Dakota
- China now owns nearly 200,000 acres of US agricultural land worth $1.9 billion
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., is leading a group of 51 lawmakers in raising suspicion about the purchase in a letter to the Biden Cabinet
- The letter cited a report warning the base has ‘exceptional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities’
Dozens of GOP lawmakers are sending a letter to the Biden Cabinet sounding the alarm over a massive Chinese farmland purchase conveniently located only 20 minutes from a major military base.
Recently Fufeng Group, a Chinese-based manufacturer with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), purchased 300 acres of land in Grand Forks, North Dakota, just down the road from Grand Forks Air Force Base.
China now owns nearly 200,000 acres of US agricultural land worth $1.9 billion.
Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., is leading a group of 51 lawmakers in raising suspicion about the purchase in a letter to Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin, Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen and Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack.
The letter cited a report from the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission warning the base has ‘exceptional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.’
Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., is leading a group of 51 lawmakers in raising suspicion about the purchase in a letter to Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin, Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen and Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack
‘The presence of a CCP-affiliated corporation near a military installation potentially undermines the integrity of our high-capability military bases, jeopardizing our strategic interests,’ the lawmakers warned.
The lawmakers said the CCP-linked firm ‘will have potential advantageous opportunities to perpetrate espionage, including actions and activities carried out under commercial cover or auspices.’
Gimenez and his colleagues called on the department heads to ‘take effective action in addressing the potential national security risks that appear to rise’ from the purchase.
They also asked the department heads to answer a number of questions, including ‘what actions are being taken by the DoD in cooperation with the U.S. military services and military base commands to understand and assess potential risks with foreign investments in close proximity to U.S. military bases and other facilities?
Criticism of the Fufeng purchase comes as American lawmakers have been outspoken about limiting China’s ownership of valuable American agricultural land, which, as of 2019, consisted of at least 192,000 acres.
The land the Fufeng Group purchased is 20 minutes, approximately 16 miles, from the Grand Forks Air Force Base
Some of the nation’s most sensitive drone technology is based at Grand Forks Air Force Base
After the Fufeng Group purchased the North Dakota land for $2.6 million this year, Air Force Major Jeremy Fox wrote a memo in April characterizing the move as being emblematic of Chinese efforts to install themselves close to sensitive US defense installations.
He argued that the Fufeng property is located at just the right location for the company to intercept communications coming from the Air Force base.
‘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,’ Fox wrote.
Such interceptions ‘would present a costly national security risk causing grave damage to United States’ strategic advantages.’
‘Passive collection of those signals would be undetectable, as the requirements to do so would merely require ordinary antennas tuned to the right collecting frequencies,’ he said, ‘This introduces a grave vulnerability to our Department of Defense installations and is incredibly compromising to US National Security.’
A spokesperson for the Air Force maintained Fox’s memo was not the military’s official position on the matter.
They instead called it Fox’s ‘personal assessment of potential vulnerabilities’ and declined to offer an opinion.
‘Acquisitions of this magnitude pose a threat not only to our national security but also to our food security,’ the lawmakers wrote, citing the 37.6 million acres of U.S. agricultural land owned by foreign investors in 2021.