Cheering Breaks Out As ND Council Votes Down Chinese Project

A North Dakota city council brought the house down in celebration by unanimously voting to reject a Chinese company’s local project.

The city council of Grand Forks was showered with chants of “USA!” from the audience after it ended the proposal by the Chinese Fufeng Group with a 5-0 vote. The business based in communist China had plans to develop a corn mill on land merely 12 miles from the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Fox Business reported Fufeng had already shelled out $2.3 million to purchase the 300-acre tract of land near the military installation. The base is the home for top-secret American drone technology.

The company made an enticing bid for the project, promising millions in tax revenue and a minimum of 200 jobs. City officials showed a great amount of courage in the vote, considering that Fufeng would have made the largest private sector investment in the history of Grand Forks.

That was not enough to sway the council, however, as it had been repeatedly warned of the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party. One of the warnings came from Air Force Assistant Secretary Andrew Hunter.

The military official wrote to state senators touting the primary role the Grand Forks Air Force Base has in both air and space operations. And while there were questions of federal jurisdiction, Hunter warned that “the proposed project presented a significant threat to national security.”

Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski told Fox News that the Chinese company now has land “but they have no ability to build anything on it.” He said the city rightly exercised its power to “deny infrastructure and deny building permits.”

The Fufeng Group described itself as an “internationalized bio-fermentation products manufacturer.” Officials with the company touted their intentions to spend $700 million to open the North Dakota operation.

However, federal and military officials along with local authorities asserted that Fufeng has strong bonds with the Chinese Communist Party.

It is greatly encouraging to see Grand Forks officials exhibit the strength to say no to economic development that came at the expense of national security. It would be even better to have this rejection of Chinese economic influence spread across the country as a unified resistance.