China Allowed To Buy Farmland Next To Sensitive US Military Base In North Dakota
The purchase of North Dakota farmland by a Chinese company has raised national security concerns.
Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group bought 300 acres of land near Grand Forks, North Dakota, to set up a milling plant. The land is located about 20 minutes from the 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, according to a North Dakota senator, handles “the backbone of all U.S. military communications across the globe.”
Grand Forks also happens to be around 40 miles away from Grafton, North Dakota, where a limited liability company controlled by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates recently paid $13 million for thousands of acres of prime famland.
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.”