The city council of Grand Forks, North Dakota, voted unanimously Monday evening to prevent the Chinese company Fufeng Group from building a corn mill near the Grand Forks Air Force Base. The 300-acre plot was purchased by Fufeng for $2.3 million and is located only 12 miles from the base, which is home to top-secret drone technology.
Despite the potential for millions in tax revenue and hundreds of jobs, the city council was concerned about the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its threat to national security.
After a year of fighting the Grand Forks, North Dakota city council — residents were relieved when the council voted to stop Chinese owned Fufeng from building corn mill near Air Force Base.
Was at bar late with residents getting full story.
My report is at 5pmET on @NewsNation. pic.twitter.com/PyMptNuN1r
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) February 7, 2023
Air Force Assistant Secretary Andrew Hunter had warned in a letter to North Dakota senators that the proposed project would present a significant risk to national security and could have significant impacts on air and space operations at the base.
Hunter stressed in his appeal: “Grand Forks Air Force Base is the center of military activities related to both air and space operations.”
Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski told Fox News that the city could “basically deny infrastructure and deny building permits.”
Fufeng lobbied the Grand Forks government heavily in its attempt to secure permitting. The Chinese company engaged in a public relations campaign touting that its project would become the largest foreign private sector investment in the history of Grand Forks. It advertised that its plant would bring at least 200 new jobs and millions in tax revenue to the city.
Future plans for the property are not clear now. However, Fufeng’s prospects for developing the land in any technologically sensitive manner are very doubtful.
This move in North Dakota is part of growing concern over Chinese land ownership in the United States. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently labeled China a “hostile nation” and announced plans to strengthen laws prohibiting China-backed Confucius Institutes from infiltrating state colleges.
President Donald Trump also voiced similar concerns, stating that China is buying up the United States’ technology, food supplies, farmland, minerals, ports and energy industries, among other assets. Trump pledged to ensure that America’s future remains in American hands if he is elected to a second term in the White House.
Chinese land ownership has become a source of controversy in recent years, with leaders and officials across the country taking a stand against the CCP’s attempts to purchase control of the United States. The vote in Grand Forks is the latest example of officials taking action to protect national security and sovereignty from perceived threats.