‘This is crazy!’ North Dakota community fights back against Chinese land grab near military base

A Chinese company named Fufeng is looking to snatch up more than 300 acres in North Dakota outside Grand Forks to build a massive corn mill just 12 miles down the road from Grand Forks Air Force base and residents are incensed over it.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

The company plans to invest $700 million in the mill but the small community located there is leery of it because state and local officials assert the company has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

“I’m not going to say that economic development isn’t a good thing. But at what cost?” Ben Grzadzielewski, who represents People for the Vote LLC, asserted.

The Air Force base houses top-secret drone technology and the land purchase is stirring national security concerns.

Residents are fighting the purchase and have collected thousands of signatures on a petition to force a vote on the deal. They plan to sue the city in order to stop the project. Grzadzielewski is working closely with the legal team at the forefront of the suit.

“In terms of Grand Forks, its water use, pollution, and smell. In terms of national, it is security. Everyone should be worried nationally about the security issues as well as locally,” he said in an interview with Fox News.

Across from the proposed land that could potentially be home to the corn mill lies Frank Matejeck’s Red River Angus Farm.

This is 370 acres of some of the best farmland in the country,” he told Fox News before wondering out loud why the company chose that site for the mill since it is not located near many corn crops. The land previously held sugar beets and soybeans and was owned by three local farmers. They were made an offer by Fufeng that was evidently too lucrative to turn down. The company spent millions to get their hands on that land, paying well above market price for the farms, averaging $26,000 an acre.

“There will never be enough corn from the growers around here to facilitate that plant, ever,” Matejeck claimed.

“This is crazy. You people want to bring communist China to Grand Forks. They kill people in communist China,” one person stated at a council meeting, according to Fox News.

North Dakota Republican Senator Kevin Cramer is ringing alarm bells in DC, telling everyone that will listen that the Chinese threat is very real in his state and that it is a national security issue.

“The China of today is not the China of decades ago. China has demonstrated real aggression,” Cramer, who sits on the Committee on Armed Services, stated according to Fox News.

“Stuff that I can’t share, but stuff that people should be concerned about,” he noted.

Senator Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, has introduced legislation that would blacklist China and other foreign adversaries from purchasing or acquiring U.S. land or businesses involved in agriculture.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was alarmed when a Chinese company recently purchased farmland near an Air Force base in North Dakota. This acquisition could threaten our national security by allowing the Chinese Communist Party to closely monitor the operations and communications at a very important military facility,” the senator said in a press release.

Across the nation, the Chinese have bought at least $2 billion worth of agricultural land.

Fufeng’s investment in the farmland outside of Grand Forks would be the largest foreign purchase in its history. City leaders claim that the corn mill will produce a minimum of 200 jobs and result in millions in tax revenue.

“We would love to see growth. We’d love to see a corn mill, you know, the whole China thing just makes it more difficult for us,” Grand Forks Republican Mayor Bochenski remarked admitting the deal may never be realized.

“There’s nobody in the world right now than me that would rather have this be an American company. Because, you know, like I said, nobody is ecstatic about it being a Chinese investment. We’re patriotic. I’m a patriotic guy. I would love American companies to invest more in our country instead of investing overseas. But, you know, that’s not the environment we’re in, unfortunately. We’re trying to sort through this,” he proclaimed to Fox News.

“If they truly believe it is a bad project and have the facts and the information to back it up, we’ll certainly follow their lead,” Bochenski said concerning the federal government giving its approval for the purchase.

The decision on whether the deal is a threat or not should come within a month.

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