‘Impossibly stupid’: Red flags over sale of U.S. farmland near sensitive military base to Chinese company

A China-based company that specializes in sugar substitutes and flavor enhancers has recently purchased hundreds of acres of North Dakota farmland just a hop, skip, and a jump from a sensitive U.S. Air Force base and has more than a few analysts and lawmakers concerned about the potential for espionage.

Fufeng Group purchased for $2.6 million a 300-acre farm near Grand Forks, 90 minutes from the Canadian border and just 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, the presumed home of some of America’s most sensitive and sophisticated military drone technology, according to a report in the New York Post.

Located a mere 40 miles from the thousands of acres of potato farmland purchased for $13 million by a limited liability company that is believed to belong to billionaire Bill Gates, the Fufeng sale is yet another large swath of American farmland that has been gobbled up by Chinese in recent years.


“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,” The Post reports. “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,” The Post continued.

“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,” U.S. Air Force Maj. Jeremy Fox wrote.

According to Fox,  a Chinese firm that close to all that sensitive data “would present a costly national security risk causing grave damage to United States’ strategic advantages.”

Speaking with CNBC, Sen. Kevin Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota, said he believes the Fufeng Group is a front for the Chinese Communist Party.

“I think we grossly under appreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” he warned.

The Gatestone Institute’s Gordon Chang was far more direct.

Joining Fox News on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Chang called the deal “impossibly stupid.”

(Video: Fox News)

“First of all,” he said, “the Chinese are extremely aggressive. But the more important story is that we are letting them do this. We are letting them buy a parcel 12 miles from a sensitive military facility where with passive listening equipment they can figure out almost everything we’re doing with those drones. This just is impossibly stupid.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee are hoping to ban outright the sale of U.S. farmland to Russian, Chinese, North Korean, and Iranian companies, according to AGDaily.

Said Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), “More needs to be done to ensure the U.S. food supply chain is secure and independent.”


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