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 China-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 farmland worth $1.9 billion
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., leads group of 51 lawmakers in raising suspicion over purchase in letter to Biden cabinet
- The letter quoted a report warning that the base has “exceptional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.”
Dozens of GOP lawmakers are sending a letter to the Biden cabinet to sound the alarm over a massive purchase of Chinese farmland, conveniently located just 20 minutes from a major military base.
Recently, Fufeng Group, a China-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 farmland worth $1.9 billion.
Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., leads a group of 51 lawmakers in raising suspicion over the purchase in a letter to Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin, Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen and Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack.
The letter quoted a report by the United States and China Economic and Security Review Commission warning that the base possesses “exceptional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.”
Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., leads a group of 51 lawmakers in raising suspicion over 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 company near a military installation may undermine the integrity of our high-capacity military bases and jeopardize our strategic interests,” lawmakers warned.
Lawmakers said the CCP-affiliated company “will potentially have advantageous opportunities to engage in espionage, including actions and activities conducted under commercial cover or under the auspices.”
Gimenez and his colleagues called on department heads to “take effective action in addressing the potential national security risks posed by the purchase.”
They also asked department heads to answer a number of questions, including “what actions are being taken by the DoD in conjunction with U.S. military services and base military commands to understand and assess potential risks with foreign investment in close proximity to U.S. military.” bases and other facilities?
Criticism of the Fufeng purchase comes as US lawmakers have been outspoken about limiting China’s ownership of valuable US farmland, which covered at least 192,000 acres as of 2019.
The land that the Fufeng Group has purchased is 20 minutes, approximately 26 miles, from Grand Forks Air Force Base
Some of the country’s most sensitive drone technology is based at Grand Forks Air Force Base
After the Fufeng Group bought the land in North Dakota for $2.6 million this year, Air Force Major Jeremy Fox wrote a memo in April characterizing the move as symbolic of China’s efforts to locate close to sensitive U.S. defense installations. .
He argued that the Fufeng facility is in exactly the right location for the company to intercept communications coming from the air base.
“Some of the most sensitive elements of Grand Forks exist with the digital uplinks and downlinks inherent in unmanned aerial systems and their interaction with space-based assets,” Fox wrote.
Such interceptions “would pose a costly national security risk and seriously damage the strategic advantages of the United States.”
“Passive collection of those signals would be undetectable because the requirements to do so would only require ordinary antennas tuned to the correct collection frequencies,” he said. “This introduces a serious vulnerability to our Department of Defense installations and is incredibly compromising on US National Security.”
An Air Force spokesman insisted Fox’s memo was not the military’s official position.
They instead called it Fox’s “personal assessment of potential vulnerabilities” and declined to comment.
“Acquisitions of this magnitude pose a threat not only to our national security, but also to our food security,” lawmakers wrote, citing the 37.6 million acres of U.S. farmland owned by foreign investors in 2021.