Dozens of Republican lawmakers are sounding the alarm on the efforts of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked company to buy land near an Air Force base in North Dakota.
Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) and 50 other lawmakers sent a letter to three officials in the Biden administration warning of a potential U.S. national security threat posed by the CCP-linked Fufeng Group’s proximity to the military installation. The letter was exclusively obtained by Fox News.
The letter was addressed to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and noted the “recent acquisition” of the property in Grand Forks, North Dakota, by the Fufeng Group, calling it an “alarming development for our national security.”
“According to the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the Grand Forks Air Force Base has exceptional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, making the recently purchased land the ideal location to closely monitor and intercept military activity,” the letter stated.
The letter goes on to say, “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,” asserting that “this CCP-tied entity will have potential advantageous opportunities to perpetrate espionage, including actions and activities carried out under commercial cover or auspices.”
Gimenez’s sentiments were echoed by Garrett Bess, the vice president of Heritage Action, who told Fox News Digital that the “threat from the Chinese Communist Party is the most critical and consequential international threat that the U.S. faces, and CCP acquisition of land, particularly near U.S. military installations, is an immediate risk to America’s national security.
Bess added, “Eliminating this risk requires an aggressive plan to prevent and punish malicious land use that threatens U.S. interests. We applaud Representative Gimenez for asking the Biden administration tough questions and pushing them to adopt a more aggressive posture against the CCP.”
The political attention to the purchase follows widespread reporting earlier in the summer about the purchase of the property, with CNBC noting in July that the property was about 20 minutes from Grand Forks Air Force Base. The food manufacturer purchased 300 acres of land, with plans for a milling plant.
In addition to potential military issues, the lawmakers’ official communiqué to administration officials pointed out that the land purchase could “pose a threat” to U.S. “food security.”
The letter states, “According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), at the beginning of 2021 foreign investors held a stake in approximately 37.6 million acres of U.S. agricultural land. This trend is expected to increase over the next few years, raising concerns about the negative potential implications it will have on domestic food production and national food security.”
The letter adds, “This, coupled with USDA’s absence from permanent membership on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), is concerning, as the Department should have some jurisdiction over the review of agricultural land acquisitions that raise national security concerns.”