NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — A proposed Chinese corn processing plant near the Grand Forks Air Force Base has now become an issue far beyond the Grand Forks area. It has become a national issue and one that is under scrutiny in Washington D.C., from military and national security officials to our own United States Senators.

Senator Kevin Cramer joined KX news Monday to discuss his joint letter with Senator Marco Rubio and Senator John Hoeven calling on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, commonly referred to as CFIUS, to conduct a review of the Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group’s recent purchase of land just 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Senator, you have long been opposed to the project and have advocated for a strategic decoupling with China. There are key Republican leaders in this state who support the project, touting it’s economic benefits. If China is such a threat to our country, do you think some are putting selling another bushel of corn over national security?

“Well, I think everybody has, you know, legitimate reasons for either opposing or supporting the project. And it just may be that some people aren’t as in touch, or in tune with the nefarious actions of the Chinese Communist Party, with their economic weapons systems as well as their literal weapons systems,” said Cramer.

“Kudos to the to the community members who have sounded the alarm that they’ve been concerned about the Grand Forks, Air Force bases, as well as just our vulnerability to China, in our in our supply chain or particularly our food supply chain. But no, I think there are good people on all sides of the issue, although I also think that the people of Grand Forks are united behind their support for the Grand Forks Air Force Base for its advancements for its growing missions sets, which are very important, and not all who perhaps are familiar with the details of what those missions are. But I think at the end of the day, we’ll all come together,” said Cramer.

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, or CFIUS, includes representatives from 16 federal departments and agencies including the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. As you know, it has been widely reported that the Chairman of Fufeng has close ties to the Communist Chinese Party. How confident are you that serious espionage issues or connections to the Chinese Communist Party will be exposed?

“Yeah. Like you said, there are several agencies, agencies with great concerns, I think the process itself provides an opportunity for all of those agencies to voice very specific concerns that without the CFIUS process may not voice those concerns. In other words, you’ll oftentimes hear somebody say, well, we don’t know of any direct threat. I think the FBI has said something like that. I think the Air Force has said something like that. Well, not knowing of a direct threat is not the same thing as saying there are no threats. And I think by having the process and the combination of all of these agencies together, I’m almost certain that they’ll find plenty of reasons to be concerned. So I do wish. Now here’s something that you all will almost never hear me say. So I’ll say, I do wish the federal government would have been a little more forthcoming with concerns earlier. I tried to provide multiple opportunities for them to do that. Generally speaking, I don’t want the federal government to impose themselves on our excellence at the local level, but this is an area where really the assets and the intelligence of the federal government system, it really is important,” explained Cramer.