A Chinese company’s purchase of American farmland near a military base is fueling concerns | Catch My Job


A Chinese company’s purchase of American farmland near a military base has sparked concerns among US lawmakers who have shot a letter to the Government Accountability Office pointing out the security implications of such deals.

Earlier this month, about 130 lawmakers asked the agency to analyze the security implications of Chinese ownership of US agricultural land.

“China’s ownership of US farmland is a threat to our food security and national security,” James Comer, a Republican member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in a press release.

In the letter, the lawmakers called on the GAO to find a potential threat to America’s food supply in light of the purchase and subsequently inform Congress how to “best protect the security of the American people.”

The concerns were raised after a Chinese agricultural company, Fufeng Group, in November last year bought 370 acres (150 hectares) of land in Grand Forks, North Dakota, about 20 kilometers from the US Air Force base, which is home to some of the most advanced. drones, the Nikkei Asia newspaper reports.

Fufeng said on its website that the land will be used for a wet corn milling facility to extract high-value amino acids, lysine and threonine for use in animal feed. He said most of the products will be sold in North America.

However, in a statement General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which is responsible for developing the unmanned aircraft systems at the air base, opposed the move and called on the Biden administration to delay the project.

“Chinese business efforts are inextricably linked with the efforts of the Chinese government. We cannot ignore the opportunity for sophisticated military espionage to co-locate itself within Chinese business of such scale and scope. Given the proximity to critical national airspace and sensitive military operations on and around Grand Forks Air Force Base, America’s leaders should be very, very concerned,” said General Atomics Aircraft Systems spokesman Mark Brinkley.

According to the Nikkei Asia newspaper, foreign ownership of American farmland has doubled in the past decade.

Data from the US Department of Agriculture shows that, as of December 2020, 37.6 million acres (15.2 million hectares) of US farmland is owned by foreign individuals and entities.

Canada topped the list with 12.4 million acres, or 32 percent of the total, followed by the Netherlands, Italy, the UK and Germany.

China holds less than 1 percent of America’s farmland with 352,140 acres.

(With input from agencies)



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