(Saly News) – A Chinese Communist Party-linked company has just purchased a huge parcel of farmland in North Dakota.
China’s Fufeng Group bought up 300 acres of prime farmland in Grand Forks for $2.6 million.
The massive parcel of American land is located near a US Air Force base that houses sensitive drone technology.
The move is raising concerns among lawmakers on Capitol Hill about potential espionage by Beijing, according to a report.
Fufeng Group, a Shandong, China-based company that specializes in flavor enhancers and sugar substitutes, recently purchased the North Dakota farmland.
“Grand Forks is also 40 miles away from Grafton, North Dakota, where a limited liability company believed to be controlled by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates recently paid $13 million for thousands of acres of potato farmland,” the New York Post reports.
As Slay News first reported last week, Microsoft co-founder Gates bought up an even larger swath of farmland in the state.
Gates was initially blocked from buying the land after North Dakota’s Republican Attorney General Drew Wrigley stepped in.
Wrigley’s office demanded answers after Microsoft co-founder Gates tried to buy up the land via his group Red River Trust.
The state AG ordered the group to provide evidence of how it intends to use the land amid allegations that the organization may be violating the state’s Corporate Farming Laws.
The trust had already acquired six parcels of land in Pembina County and was blocked as it continued trying to buy more.
However, Gates has now got the green light to purchase the 2,100 acres of land in the state for $13.5 million.
Wrigley issued a letter saying Gates was granted approval for the transaction after his legal team appealed against the anti-corporate farming law.
The law was established during the Depression-era and prohibits corporations or limited liability companies from owning farmland or ranchland.
However, Gates was able to skirt the law due to it not prohibiting individual trusts from owning the land if it is leased to farmers, which he intends to do.
Gates is the largest private owner of farmland in America after quietly amassing some 270,000 acres across dozens of states, according to last year’s edition of the Land Report 100, an annual survey of the nation’s largest landowners.
The New York Post reported:
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.
Fufeng Group said it is planning to use the land to build a $700 million corn milling plant that would create at least 200 jobs as well as residual opportunities for logistics, trucking, and other services.
But US military officials are raising the alarm nonetheless.
Senior Air Force officers circulated a memo in April warning that the presence of Fufeng Group in Grand Forks, a town of just 60,000 people, was a national security threat.