This is not good.
A Chinese company’s purchase of farmland in North Dakota just down the road from a US Air Force base that houses sensitive drone technology has lawmakers on Capitol Hill worried about potential espionage by Beijing, according to a report.
Fufeng Group, a Shandong, China-based company that specializes in flavor enhancers and sugar substitutes, recently purchased 300 acres of farmland near Grand Forks, North Dakota, a rural area that lies about a 90-minute drive from the Canadian border.
Grand Forks is also 40 miles away from Grafton, North Dakota, where a limited liability company believed to be controlled by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates recently paid $13 million for thousands of acres of potato farmland, causing a stir among locals.
Three North Dakotans sold the land to Fufeng Group for $2.6 million, according to CNBC.
Like the Gates-linked purchase, the sale of local farmland to a Chinese company sparked a visceral reaction, according to one of the sellers, Gary Bridgeford.
That’s because the land is just a 20-minute drive from Grand Forks Air Force Base, which is believed to be the home of some of the country’s most sophisticated military drone technology.
Bridgeford told CNBC that some locals planted signs on his front yard condemning the transaction.
“I’ve been threatened,” he said. “I’ve been called every name in the book for selling property.”
Another local business owner, however, said the fears are justified. Craig Spicer, who runs a trucking company adjacent to the new Chinese-owned land, told CNBC: “It makes me feel nervous for my grandkids. It makes me feel nervous for my kids.”
Bridgeford insists that fears the Chinese government would use the area as a staging point for espionage operations are unfounded.
“How would they gain any knowledge of the base?” he asked. “It’s about 12 miles away. It isn’t like its next door.”
Bridgeford added: “People hear the China stuff and there’s concern.”
“But everyone has a phone in their pocket that was probably made in China. Where do you draw the line?”
Bridgeford is either a liar or one of the most naïve people on the planet. If he really believes that Chinese firms don’t have connections to Beijing and its spy apparatus, I have a big fucking bridge in Brooklyn for sale.
To answer his question: When you sell American real estate, you draw the line at hostile countries , especially a communist totalitarian regime.
But US 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.
“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,” wrote US Air Force Maj. Jeremy Fox.
A Chinese firm with close proximity to such data “would present a costly national security risk causing grave damage to United States’ strategic advantages.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) has also expressed opposition to the presence of Fufeng Group, which he views as a front for the Chinese government.
“I think we grossly under appreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” Cramer told CNBC.
“And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my back yard.”
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who chairs the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, echoed that sentiment.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has been loudly sounding the alarm about the counterintelligence threat posed by the (People’s Republic of China),” said Warner.
“We should be seriously concerned about Chinese investment in locations close to sensitive sites, such as military bases around the US.”
……Earlier this week, AgDaily reported that lawmakers were pushing a bill through Congress that would bar foreign entities such as China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea from buying up American farmland.
The ChiComs should not be allowed in this country in any way shape or form. That includes your cellphone.
From a 26 May 2022 report from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission:
Fufeng Group in North Dakota
One case of Chinese agribusiness investment is in a relatively small plot of land in North Dakota that local officials argue will have a large return on investment. In November 2021, Grand Forks announced that Fufeng Group of Shandong, China, had selected the municipality as the location for its new wet corn mill, a potential driver of revenue for local or regional corn farmers depending on where the company decides to buy its corn. The Chinese company, known for its MSG production within China, purchased 370 acres in Grand Forks’ agribusiness park. While not a state-owned enterprise, Fufeng Group has ties to the Chinese government. Li Xuechun, Fufeng’s chairman, previously participated in Shandong’s 12th People’s Congress and has received praise for being the “Model Laborer” for his business achievements. The mill will be located about 12 miles from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, which houses some of the United States’ top intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. 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. 90 Under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), the land’s proximity to a military installation may qualify the transaction for a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). There have been no public reports indicating whether CFIUS did or did not review Fufeng’s purchase in Grand Forks. Fufeng Group considered a number of locations before choosing to settle in Grand Forks. Some local corn cooperatives are concerned about where Fufeng may choose to buy their corn and are wary of industry consolidation, particularly when it corners off a critical market to a foreign company with ties to the CCP. The U.S. agriculture industry has already witnessed this kind of consolidation following Smithfield Foods’ acquisition by a Chinese company, which is discussed below. Evaluating lessons learned by the United States from the Smithfield case can provide insight into what vulnerabilities may exist in other foreign acquisitions of U.S. agribusinesses and agricultural land.
The government and American businesses are treating Beijing like a business partner. The Chinese have engaged in cyber attacks, spying, economic espionage, and actual threatening of U.S. Naval vessels. Yet these traitors think giving them money, technology, and contributing to the Chinese threat are good ideas.
Propping up a communist totalitarian regime with capitalist dollars is suicidal. China is an enemy and should be treated as such instead of having the privilege of being a business associate. Doing business with a communist country will not transform it into a freedom-nurturing society.
Assholes like Bridgeford value money over country. He deserves the name calling.