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Jul 1 - Chinese purchase of North Dakota farmland raises national security concerns issue



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Jul 1 - Chinese purchase of North Dakota farmland raises national security concerns issue
 

 
KEY POINTS
-Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group bought 300 acres of land near Grand Forks, North Dakota to set up a milling plant.
-The project is located about 20 minutes from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, raising national security concerns.
-Both the Democratic Chairman and the Republican ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee told CNBC they are opposed to the project.



At first glance, the largely barren, wind-swept tract of land just north of Grand Forks, North Dakota, seems like an unlikely location for international espionage.

There’s not much on the more than 300-acre patch of prime Dakota farmland right now other than dirt and tall grasses, bordered by highways and light industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city of Grand Forks.

The nearest neighbors include a crop production company, a truck and trailer service outfit, and Patio World, which sells landscaping supplies for suburban back yards.

But when the three North Dakotans who owned the parcels of land here sold them for millions of dollars this spring, the transaction raised alarm bells as far away as Washington, DC.

Grand Forks Air Force Base

That’s because the buyer of the land was a Chinese company, the Fufeng Group, based in Shandong, China, and the property is just about 20 minutes down the road from Grand Forks Air Force Base — home to some of the nation’s most sensitive military drone technology.

The base is also the home of a new space networking center, which a North Dakota senator said handles “the backbone of all U.S. military communications across the globe.”

image

Now some security experts warn the Chinese corn milling plant should be stopped, because it could offer Chinese intelligence unprecedented access to the facility.

It’s an only-in-America kind of f*ght — pitting the property and economic rights of a community against national security warnings from high-ranking officials in the nation’s capital.

Debate over the project has roiled the small community, with emotional city council hearings, local politicians at odds with one another, and neighborhood groups gearing up to block the project.

Craig Spicer, whose trucking company borders the Chinese-held land, says he’s suspicious of the new company’s intent. “It makes me feel nervous for my grandkids,” he said. “It makes me feel nervous for my kids.”

$2.6 million sale

Gary Bridgeford, who sold his parcel of the farmland to the Chinese company for around $2.6 million this year, said his neighbors have vented their anger at him and planted signs opposing the project in his front yard. “I’ve been threatened,” he said. “I’ve been called every name in the book for selling property.”

Bridgeford says he believes the national security concerns are overblown. “How would they gain any knowledge of the base?” he asked. “It’s about 12 miles away. It isn’t like its next door.”

“People hear the China stuff and there’s concern,” Bridgeford said. “But everyone has a phone in their pocket that was probably made in China. Where do you draw the line?”

The city’s mayor, Brandon, Bochenski, says he just wants to do business: The proposed $700 million plant would create more than 200 direct jobs, and other opportunities for logistics, trucking and other support services. He’s pushing for the project, but he acknowledges there are national security concerns that are beyond his ability to process as a small-town mayor.

‘The best we can’

“I mean, we’re a municipality of about 60,000 people,” he said. “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.”

Among those partners is the United States Air Force, which hasn’t taken an official position on the Chinese project in its North Dakota back yard.

But inside the Air Force, an officer circulated a memo about the project in April, casting it as a national security threat to the United States and alleging that it fits a pattern of Chinese sub-national espionage campaigns using commercial economic development projects to get close to Department of Defense installations. The officer, Maj. Jeremy Fox, argued that the Fufeng project is located on a narrow geographic footprint at which passive receiving equipment could intercept sensitive drone and space-based communications to and from the 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 a*sets,” he wrote. And any such data collection “would present a costly national security risk causing grave damage to United States’ strategic advantages.”

Electronic surveillance

Maj. Fox argued that the Air Force would have little ability to detect any electronic surveillance on drone and satellite transmissions being conducted from the Chinese property. “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 wrote. “This introduces a grave vulnerability to our Department of Defense installations and is incredibly compromising to US National Security.”

Still, that’s not the Air Force’s official position. An Air Force spokeswoman says Maj. Fox wrote the memo on his own, “in an effort to raise awareness of what he deemed concerning with respect to the company in question moving into the Grand Forks area, Maj. Fox submitted his personal a*sessment of potential vulnerabilities to the Grand Forks Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations,” Lea Greene, spokeswoman for the Air Force Base, said in a statement.

The company at the heart of the debate argues that its project will helps Americans, not hurt them. Eric Chutorash, Chief Operating Officer of Fufeng USA, the US subsidiary of Fufeng Group, dismissed concerns the plant could be used to spy on the Air Force base.

“I can’t imagine anyone that we hire that’s going to even do that,′ Chutorash said. When asked if he could definitively say it wouldn’t be used for espionage, he responded, “absolutely.” “We’re under U.S. 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 a*sociated with a company that does, and I know my team feels the exact same way.”

But Fox is not the only official concerned about the farmland in Grand Forks.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission cited Maj. Fox’s intelligence concerns in a May 26 report, writing, “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.”

Senate opposition

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., opposes the project, despite the economic advantages it might bring to his own constituents. He says he’s suspicious of the Chinese government’s intent. “I think we grossly under appreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” he said in an interview. “And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my back yard.”

Both the Democratic Chairman and the Republican ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee also told CNBC they are opposed to the project.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee has been loudly sounding the alarm about the counterintelligence threat posed by the (People’s Republic of China),” said Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. “We should be seriously concerned about Chinese investment in locations close to sensitive sites, such as military bases around the U.S.”

His Republican counterpart, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida agrees. “It is dangerous, foolish, and shortsighted to allow the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies to purchase land near U.S. military installations,” he told CNBC in a statement, noting that he is co-sponsoring legislation that would give the Biden administration the power to block such a purchase. “This is something we must address.”

The project is a complicated one, and the city of Grand Forks is not expected to begin building out infrastructure for it until next spring. Mayor Bochenski says he’s moving ahead in good faith, but is ready to shift gears if new information comes to light. “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 said.

visit this link https://www.cnbc.com/2022 .. ashington.html
+11   



best
worst
124 comments
 

 1 month ago '11        #2
Sin  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x53 OP
Props total: 190234 190 K  Slaps total: 25462 25 K



;t=laetz2cESLvhfDU460AY3w
+16   

 1 month ago '04        #3
zone3cp 
Props total: 187921 187 K  Slaps total: 18890 18 K
Foreigners shouldnt be able to buy land in America.
+175   

 1 month ago '04        #4
bibbyboi 
Props total: 19250 19 K  Slaps total: 2755 2 K
 zone3cp said
Foreigners shouldnt be able to buy land in America.
At the very least, large foreign corporations shouldn't be able to buy land in mass like that. And individuals purchasing smaller properties should be taxed like crazy.
+109   

 1 month ago '18        #5
ChrisPartlowFro 
Props total: 42915 42 K  Slaps total: 5450 5 K
 zone3cp said
Foreigners shouldnt be able to buy land in America.
It’s Chinese law and they over here buying whatever they want we’re so backward.
+58   

 1 month ago '20        #6
Xiox  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
Props total: 67699 67 K  Slaps total: 12467 12 K
So everything is a national security risk but it's perfectly ok fo US companies to set up shop in different countries
-22   

 1 month ago '04        #7
zone3cp 
Props total: 187921 187 K  Slaps total: 18890 18 K
 Xiox said
So everything is a national security risk but it's perfectly ok fo US companies to set up shop in different countries
Lets worry about here my bro….This why the housing market is so bad right now.
+53   

 1 month ago '04        #8
deziking  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5
Props total: 39767 39 K  Slaps total: 4011 4 K
fu*k that should be banned just like how canada started doing. With homes.
+20   

 1 month ago '11        #9
Sin  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x53 OP
Props total: 190234 190 K  Slaps total: 25462 25 K
 bibbyboi said
At the very least, large foreign corporations shouldn't be able to buy land in mass like that. And individuals purchasing smaller properties should be taxed like crazy.
I like that idea of taxing foreigners property differently
+24   

 1 month ago '18        #10
ChrisPartlowFro 
Props total: 42915 42 K  Slaps total: 5450 5 K
 Xiox said
So everything is a national security risk but it's perfectly ok fo US companies to set up shop in different countries
that isn’t a national security risk that’s companies taking advantage of tax-friendly locations or for regulatory purposes….
+3   

 1 month ago '06        #11
sunsetnVine 
Props total: 24853 24 K  Slaps total: 2242 2 K
 Sin said
KEY POINTS
-Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group bought 300 acres of land near Grand Forks, North Dakota to set up a milling plant.
-The project is located about 20 minutes from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, raising national security concerns.
-Both the Democratic Chairman and the Republican ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee told CNBC they are opposed to the project.





At first glance, the largely barren, wind-swept tract of land just north of Grand Forks, North Dakota, seems like an unlikely location for international espionage.

There’s not much on the more than 300-acre patch of prime Dakota farmland right now other than dirt and tall grasses, bordered by highways and light industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city of Grand Forks.

The nearest neighbors include a crop production company, a truck and trailer service outfit, and Patio World, which sells landscaping supplies for suburban back yards.

But when the three North Dakotans who owned the parcels of land here sold them for millions of dollars this spring, the transaction raised alarm bells as far away as Washington, DC.

Grand Forks Air Force Base

That’s because the buyer of the land was a Chinese company, the Fufeng Group, based in Shandong, China, and the property is just about 20 minutes down the road from Grand Forks Air Force Base — home to some of the nation’s most sensitive military drone technology.

The base is also the home of a new space networking center, which a North Dakota senator said handles “the backbone of all U.S. military communications across the globe.”




Now some security experts warn the Chinese corn milling plant should be stopped, because it could offer Chinese intelligence unprecedented access to the facility.

It’s an only-in-America kind of f*ght — pitting the property and economic rights of a community against national security warnings from high-ranking officials in the nation’s capital.

Debate over the project has roiled the small community, with emotional city council hearings, local politicians at odds with one another, and neighborhood groups gearing up to block the project.

Craig Spicer, whose trucking company borders the Chinese-held land, says he’s suspicious of the new company’s intent. “It makes me feel nervous for my grandkids,” he said. “It makes me feel nervous for my kids.”

$2.6 million sale

Gary Bridgeford, who sold his parcel of the farmland to the Chinese company for around $2.6 million this year, said his neighbors have vented their anger at him and planted signs opposing the project in his front yard. “I’ve been threatened,” he said. “I’ve been called every name in the book for selling property.”

Bridgeford says he believes the national security concerns are overblown. “How would they gain any knowledge of the base?” he asked. “It’s about 12 miles away. It isn’t like its next door.”

“People hear the China stuff and there’s concern,” Bridgeford said. “But everyone has a phone in their pocket that was probably made in China. Where do you draw the line?”

The city’s mayor, Brandon, Bochenski, says he just wants to do business: The proposed $700 million plant would create more than 200 direct jobs, and other opportunities for logistics, trucking and other support services. He’s pushing for the project, but he acknowledges there are national security concerns that are beyond his ability to process as a small-town mayor.

‘The best we can’

“I mean, we’re a municipality of about 60,000 people,” he said. “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.”

Among those partners is the United States Air Force, which hasn’t taken an official position on the Chinese project in its North Dakota back yard.

But inside the Air Force, an officer circulated a memo about the project in April, casting it as a national security threat to the United States and alleging that it fits a pattern of Chinese sub-national espionage campaigns using commercial economic development projects to get close to Department of Defense installations. The officer, Maj. Jeremy Fox, argued that the Fufeng project is located on a narrow geographic footprint at which passive receiving equipment could intercept sensitive drone and space-based communications to and from the 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 a*sets,” he wrote. And any such data collection “would present a costly national security risk causing grave damage to United States’ strategic advantages.”

Electronic surveillance

Maj. Fox argued that the Air Force would have little ability to detect any electronic surveillance on drone and satellite transmissions being conducted from the Chinese property. “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 wrote. “This introduces a grave vulnerability to our Department of Defense installations and is incredibly compromising to US National Security.”

Still, that’s not the Air Force’s official position. An Air Force spokeswoman says Maj. Fox wrote the memo on his own, “in an effort to raise awareness of what he deemed concerning with respect to the company in question moving into the Grand Forks area, Maj. Fox submitted his personal a*sessment of potential vulnerabilities to the Grand Forks Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations,” Lea Greene, spokeswoman for the Air Force Base, said in a statement.

The company at the heart of the debate argues that its project will helps Americans, not hurt them. Eric Chutorash, Chief Operating Officer of Fufeng USA, the US subsidiary of Fufeng Group, dismissed concerns the plant could be used to spy on the Air Force base.

“I can’t imagine anyone that we hire that’s going to even do that,′ Chutorash said. When asked if he could definitively say it wouldn’t be used for espionage, he responded, “absolutely.” “We’re under U.S. 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 a*sociated with a company that does, and I know my team feels the exact same way.”

But Fox is not the only official concerned about the farmland in Grand Forks.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission cited Maj. Fox’s intelligence concerns in a May 26 report, writing, “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.”

Senate opposition

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., opposes the project, despite the economic advantages it might bring to his own constituents. He says he’s suspicious of the Chinese government’s intent. “I think we grossly under appreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” he said in an interview. “And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my back yard.”

Both the Democratic Chairman and the Republican ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee also told CNBC they are opposed to the project.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee has been loudly sounding the alarm about the counterintelligence threat posed by the (People’s Republic of China),” said Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. “We should be seriously concerned about Chinese investment in locations close to sensitive sites, such as military bases around the U.S.”

His Republican counterpart, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida agrees. “It is dangerous, foolish, and shortsighted to allow the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies to purchase land near U.S. military installations,” he told CNBC in a statement, noting that he is co-sponsoring legislation that would give the Biden administration the power to block such a purchase. “This is something we must address.”

The project is a complicated one, and the city of Grand Forks is not expected to begin building out infrastructure for it until next spring. Mayor Bochenski says he’s moving ahead in good faith, but is ready to shift gears if new information comes to light. “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 said.


Bidennsleep at the wheel. Stupid mofukuz should have bought them out.
-12   

 1 month ago '20        #12
Xiox  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
Props total: 67699 67 K  Slaps total: 12467 12 K
 ChrisPartlowFro said
that isn’t a national security risk that’s companies taking advantage of tax-friendly locations or for regulatory purposes….
So why did op make it into a national security issue ?
-12   

 1 month ago '04        #13
zone3cp 
Props total: 187921 187 K  Slaps total: 18890 18 K
Imagine by 300 acres in China fu*k that lets say an acre….You cant.
+34   

 1 month ago '04        #14
zone3cp 
Props total: 187921 187 K  Slaps total: 18890 18 K
 sunsetnVine said
Bidennsleep at the wheel. Stupid mofukuz should have bought them out.
This started long before Biden presidency….
+12   

 1 month ago '06        #15
bigkilla  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
Props total: 45769 45 K  Slaps total: 5986 5 K
 ChrisPartlowFro said
that isn’t a national security risk that’s companies taking advantage of tax-friendly locations or for regulatory purposes….
Don't waste your time with that dude. I'm open to people having different opinions.. some I agree with some I disagree with but that dude is always on some next sh*t. Now he's out here defending China's right to buy farms here but likes that China mines our data through TikTok.

Dude is out there.
+6   

 1 month ago '18        #16
ChrisPartlowFro 
Props total: 42915 42 K  Slaps total: 5450 5 K
 Xiox said
So why did op make it into a national security issue ?
I can’t tell if you’re being obtuse on purpose so:

You cannot buy land in China. That is law.
We’ve been in a economic skirmish (not full on war) with China for how long?
We’ve been in a technological skirmish with them for a least the past decade.
Also it’s well-known that the CCP controls Chinese companies…AND we currently have Executive Order (E.O.) 13959, which restricts the ability of US persons and companies to invest in certain Chinese companies.
Are you unfamiliar with the uproar over Tik Tok?

China is not our ally and is hostile to some of our allies… I could go on and on.
+20   

 1 month ago '18        #17
ChrisPartlowFro 
Props total: 42915 42 K  Slaps total: 5450 5 K
 bigkilla said
Don't waste your time with that dude. I'm open to people having different opinions.. some I agree with some I disagree with but that dude is always on some next sh*t. Now he's out here defending China's right to buy farms here but likes that China mines our data through TikTok.

Dude is out there.
Wish I’d seen this before I responded. Dude always came across as a CCP plant to me but I didn’t know about the TikTok thing. CCP is definitely on here.
+4   

 1 month ago '06        #18
bigkilla  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
Props total: 45769 45 K  Slaps total: 5986 5 K
 ChrisPartlowFro said
Wish I’d seen this before I responded. Dude always came across as a CCP plant to me but I didn’t know about the TikTok thing. CCP is definitely on here.
Dude is always posting some crazy a*s sh*t trying to shoehorn in sh*t like this where we should allow China to do what they want and trying to pretend it's not a security risk that a foreign country owning our farmland isn't an issue even though there's 0 shot in hell the US as a country or even citizens can do that there because of it being a security risk.

Then tried playing it off as OP trying to make it seem like a security risk meanwhile it's in the literal article.

I agree the dude comes off heavy as a plant.

my man said why is OP trying to make it a national security risk @
+5   

 1 month ago '11        #19
Sin  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x53 OP
Props total: 190234 190 K  Slaps total: 25462 25 K
 sunsetnVine said
Bidennsleep at the wheel. Stupid mofukuz should have bought them out.
This property near a Texas base was purchased during trumps term in a republican run state


;t=Xg9H9fuGfLx1F4TaQgOQOw
+22   

 1 month ago '11        #20
PotheadFocker  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
Props total: 38718 38 K  Slaps total: 4604 4 K
 bibbyboi said
At the very least, large foreign corporations shouldn't be able to buy land in mass like that. And individuals purchasing smaller properties should be taxed like crazy.
They're really gonna flip when they find out most of our "real estate companies" are Chinese, Russian, Saudi and other oligarchs

+16   

 1 month ago '11        #21
PotheadFocker  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
Props total: 38718 38 K  Slaps total: 4604 4 K
 ChrisPartlowFro said
that isn’t a national security risk that’s companies taking advantage of tax-friendly locations or for regulatory purposes….
Honest question, whats the difference?

Our crooked a*s imperialist state department tells you its bad, so its bad?

Everything in your fu*king house is made in China.

China is not the boogey man friend.

We actually might not be in the right 24/7.

I am not CCP but I might end up expatriating at this rate.

Capitalism blows and is raping us all 24/7.

I'm thinking one of the social democracies in Europe might suit me best
+10   

 1 month ago '06        #22
sunsetnVine 
Props total: 24853 24 K  Slaps total: 2242 2 K
 zone3cp said
This started long before Biden presidency….
facts.... but why ignore it? i could get his predecessor. catz just rolling over for em.
+4   

 1 month ago '22        #23
92 Geese Howard 
Props total: 1909 1 K  Slaps total: 285 285
No one said sh*t when the Chinese from Canada did the exact same sh*t
+4   

 1 month ago '06        #24
sunsetnVine 
Props total: 24853 24 K  Slaps total: 2242 2 K
 Sin said
This property near a Texas base was purchased during trumps term in a republican run state


biden gotta embrace prison and being a villian willing to die and break laws for his countries long term democracy and stability.


i hear you tho... previous team was on some bullshyt.. its china tho.. fu*k em.. snatch the land.. pay the fools off and get em out of here. just a bad as when they bought the food/swine farms out and neither side did a thing ...
+2   

 1 month ago '11        #25
Sin  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x53 OP
Props total: 190234 190 K  Slaps total: 25462 25 K
 sunsetnVine said
biden gotta embrace prison and being a villian willing to die and break laws for his countries long term democracy and stability.


i hear you tho... previous team was on some bullshyt.. its china tho.. fu*k em.. snatch the land.. pay the fools off and get em out of here. just a bad as when they bought the food/swine farms out and neither side did a thing ...
I like the comment above someone said about taxing non citizens more for property
+2   



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