Protecting national security in ND prime concern

National security should always be a concern in this country and especially in North Dakota, where we have two Air Force bases with critical missions.

The situation in the Grand Forks area, where a Chinese food manufacturer purchased land not far from the air base there, definitely raises questions. It is not far-fetched to be concerned about this venture.

If a subsidiary with a parent company in a foreign communist country and adversary of the United States bought land near Minot Air Force Base, we should be looking into that matter.

Both of these air bases are extremely vital to the national defense in this nation. Minot Air Force Base has the distinction of being the only dual-winged nuclear-capable base. The base’s 5th Bomb Wing has its B-52 bombers, and the 91st Missile Wing oversees intercontinental ballistic missiles in underground facilities in the surrounding area.

Grand Forks AFB has its own distinct role in national defense, in which it flies Global Hawks, remotely piloted surveillance aircraft, and the Space Development Agency has put in a new ground station for the first tranche of satellites.

North Dakota’s U.S. senators, John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, along with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced recently they are looking into the matter of the agricultural land the Chinese company purchased about 12 miles from Grand Forks air base. It’s rightly so for them to do such.

The three senators sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen, requesting the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) conduct a review of the Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group’s recent purchase of the land near Grand Forks.

“We note that local officials are seeking input from federal authorities about any national security implications of this project. Local officials have discussed the matter with the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to published reports, they also have encouraged Fufeng to make a voluntary CFIUS filing,” the senators wrote. “People’s Republic of China investments in the United States demand scrutiny. We therefore urge you, through CFIUS, to determine whether this project has national security implications and inform us when such a review is completed.”

Cramer further pointed out on “Fox & Friends” this week that he’s concerned about the proximity to the air base but he’s “more broadly concerned by the fact that China is able to come in and continually make investments and buy property, enter into our food supply chain right here in the United States. Remember, during the pandemic, it was discovered that China’s ownership of meat processing in the United States made our meat supply vulnerable. If we haven’t learned about the vulnerability of food supply, energy supply, other critical minerals, and pharmaceuticals from China, we aren’t learning very quickly.”

Local communities, counties and state officials need to keep a close watch on what is happening in their areas and thoroughly vet land purchases and proposed projects before putting their stamp of approval on them. Our national security cannot be jeopardized.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today