Thursday, July 18, 2024
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    Air Force Opposes Chinese-Owned Corn Plant for North Dakota

    Air Force Opposes Chinese-Owned Corn Plant for North Dakota

    The U.S. has told North Dakota leaders that it believes a Chinese company's plans to build a wet corn milling plant near its Grand Forks poses a “significant threat to national security,” prompting city officials to say they'll move to stop a project once touted as an economic boon.

    The Fufeng Group's planned $700 million facility would be 12 miles (19 kilometers) from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, a location that triggered some local concern about potential espionage. Gov. Doug Burgum and U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer — all Republicans — pressed the federal government in July to expedite a review of any security risk.

    U.S.-China business ties have become strained amid growing tensions between the two countries over security and trade issues, which often overlap. China on Monday criticized U.S. controls on technology exports as a trade violation. Fears over spying have led the U.S. armed forces to prohibited the Chinese-owned app TikTok on devices, and nearly half of state governments across the country have banned the video-sharing platform from state-owned devices.

    The Grand Forks Air Force Base is a center for both air and space operations, according to a letter sent to Hoeven and Cramer by Andrew Hunter, an assistant secretary of the Air Force. The senators released the correspondence Tuesday.

    “The proposed project presents a significant threat to national security with…

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