Chinese companies buying land near US military base pose security threat

Chinese companies buying land near the US military base could be part of the sub-national surveillance and espionage scheme by Chinese companies, American Military News reported. Several Chinese companies have purchased or begun efforts to purchase large plots of land near key US military bases in recent years. Fufeng Group, a China-based company, is one of the companies that has purchased 300 acres of farmland near Grand Forks, North Dakota, a rural area about a 90-minute drive from the Canadian border.

The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) report, released in May, states that the Fufeng Group’s new factory would be located on a 370-acre site in approximately 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base. Purchasing land near the US military base could be “particularly convenient for monitoring air traffic flows into and out of the base, among other security concerns”, according to the report.

Alarmed after the Fufeng Group bought the land near the US Air Force base, 30 US lawmakers in a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asked the agency to know the extent and the trends in foreign investment in agricultural land. It also called for a review to determine whether current filing standards accurately capture the origin of the investment, Nikkei Asia reported. Prior to the Fufeng Group’s efforts to buy land near Grand Forks Air Force Base, another Chinese company had begun buying about 140,000 acres of land located about 70 miles from Laughlin Air Force Base. China’s Guanghui Energy Company Ltd wanted to build a massive wind farm known as the Blue Hills Wind Project, American Military News reported.

According to American Military News, the US Air Force base is home to some of America’s best intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The base is home to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, which is a primary operator of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles. The base will also host a new space networking center that will facilitate US military communications around the world. Recently, foreign ownership and investment in US farmland nearly doubled between 2010 and 2020 and has alarmed lawmakers as well.

In a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the 130 US lawmakers asked the agency to know the extent and trends of foreign investment in farmland. It also called for a review to determine whether current filing standards accurately capture the origin of the investment, Nikkei Asia reported. The US Air Force base is home to some of the best intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. The base is home to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, which is a primary operator of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles. The base will also host a new space networking center that will facilitate US military communications around the world.

Guanghui Energy Company is owned by Sun Guangxin. Sun is a Chinese billionaire believed to have ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party, according to American Military News. Guanghui Energy Co’s efforts to buy land near Laughlin Air Force Base have caught the attention of state and federal lawmakers.

Texas statehouse lawmakers passed a law last year, known as the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act, that prohibits all contracts or agreements in Texas with foreign companies tied to critical infrastructure in the Texas. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), a lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives, also sponsored legislation with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to shut down the Blue Hills Wind Farm and all Chinese, Russian, Iranian or North Korean property purchases on US lands within 100 miles of a US military installation or 50 miles from areas of military operations. The legislation was introduced in the House in April last year but has yet to be voted on, American Military News reported. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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