(Video Credit: Fox News)
Security experts are ringing alarm bells as a Chinese firm snapped up massive tracts of farmland worth billions in the U.S. with 300 of those acres just 20 minutes from a North Dakota Air Force base.
China has purchased 192,000 acres of U.S. agricultural land as of 2019 which is worth approximately $1.9 billion, according to Politico. It is probably much larger by now and the Chinese are still building their portfolio.
It’s not just farmland either. The communist country is also reportedly buying energy resources in the United States and many American leaders are asserting it should not be allowed to do so.
The Fufeng Group claims that it is planning on building a corn-milling plant on the acreage in Grand Forks, North Dakota. But the purchase is far too close for comfort to the Air Force base and raises concerns of the Chinese spying on a military installation where some of the nation’s most sensitive drone technology is based.
The Chinese would allegedly be able to monitor what goes on at the base, which also has a space-networking center that’s been described as “the backbone of all US military communications across the globe,” according to CNBC. To say the purchase by the Chinese firm is a national security threat is an understatement.
(Video Credit: Fox Business)
The farmland in North Dakota was purchased by the Fufeng Group for $2.6 million in 2021. After that, Air Force Major Jeremy Fox wrote a memo in April proclaiming that the move is typical of Chinese efforts to dig in near sensitive U.S. defense installations. He contends that it is no coincidence that the company bought land in just the right location 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 said in his memo.
He asserted that 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 stated. “This introduces a grave vulnerability to our Department of Defense installations and is incredibly compromising to US National Security.”
Why is China still allowed to buy U.S. farmland?
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) July 23, 2022
If we are just going to allow China to purchase farmland nationwide, it's over. Put a fork in America. We have invited our own demise.
— Gabe – 18 Rabbit 🇺🇸 (@DirtyWhiteBoyz_) July 24, 2022
The Air Force was quick to state that Fox’s memo was not the military’s official position on the matter.
Of course, the Fufeng Group says that allegations of potential espionage are nonsense.
“I can’t imagine anyone that we hire that’s going to even do that,” Fufeng USA Chief Operating Officer Eric Chutorash told CNBC. He ludicrously claims that he knows the company “absolutely” would not spy on US military interests.
“We’re under US law, I’m an American citizen, I grew up my whole life here, and I am not going to be doing any type of espionage activities or be associated with a company that does, and I know my team feels the exact same way,” he disingenuously remarked.
“The location of the land close to the base is particularly convenient for monitoring air traffic flows in and out of the base, among other security-related concerns,” the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s May report said.
China shouldn't be allowed to buy even one acre of our precious farmland.
— Matthew H (@MattH_4America) July 23, 2022
If you don’t realize it, we are currently in an economic war with China..they are bringing the battle right to our soil with the buying of American farmland and real estate. Our gov’t representatives are compromised. They won’t mess with their golden goose.#ItsAllAboutTheMoney
— MR. WHITE (@MrWhiteMAGA) July 24, 2022
The security concerns are bipartisan with North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer, and Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner both speaking out against the Chinese interest’s proximity to the Air Force base, according to the Daily Mail.
“I think we grossly underappreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” Senator Kramer warned. “And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my backyard.”
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has been loudly sounding the alarm about the counterintelligence threat posed by the [People’s Republic of China],” Warner reported. “We should be seriously concerned about Chinese investment in locations close to sensitive sites, such as military bases around the US.”
“America cannot allow China to control our food supply,” former Vice President Pence said in 2021. He asked President Biden and Congress to “end all farm subsidies for land owned by foreign nationals” and was ignored.
“It is dangerous, foolish, and shortsighted to allow the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies to purchase land near U.S. military installations,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, according to the Daily Mail.
Floridians… Vote for Florida Senator Marco Rubio because the other candidate is obviously up China’s ass. 🤷🏼♀️
— 💋Ava💋 (@TheRightAva88) July 20, 2022
“I don’t think they should be able to do it. I think the problem is these companies have ties to the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], and it’s not always apparent on the face of whatever a company is doing – but I think it’s a huge problem,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) told Fox News host Laura Ingraham last week.
“I mean, we’re a municipality of about 60,000 people,” Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski told CNBC. “You know, we don’t have the budget to have an intelligence-gathering apparatus here. We do the best we can and rely on our partners.”
The Chinese have the mayor’s full support in building the plant. It’s set to break ground next spring and will cost $700 million. It will also ostensibly bring about 200 jobs to the small community.
“We want to do what’s best for the community, we want to do what’s best for the country, it’s a difficult balance right now,” he commented.
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