USA – The Grand Forks City Council in North Dakota has unanimously voted to block a Chinese company from opening a corn mill near a sensitive military base after the United States Air Force termed the facility a risk to national security. 

Fufeng USA, a subsidiary of Fufeng, has been working since late 2021 to develop a 370-acre tract on the northern edge of Grand Forks to build a corn mill that would process as much as 25 million bushels of corn.

A letter from Air Force Assistant Secretary Andrew Hunter was the last nail in the coffin of the project which has been mired with controversy since it was first announced. 

Local officials and federal authorities had previously warned that Fufeng has deep ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party making its operations in the area close to the US airbase suspicious. 

Andrew in his letter to US senators voiced these concerns saying that the project posed  a “significant threat to national security with both near- and long-term risks of significant impacts to our operations in the area.”

According to reports, Fufeng paid US$2.3 million to purchase the 300 acres of land just 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, home to top-secret drone technology. The company was planning to invest US$700 million to open the mill.

If the project was given a nod, Fufeng would have been the largest foreign private sector investment in the history of Grand Forks and would bring in at least 200 jobs and millions in tax revenue. 

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