MINOT, N.D. — An economic development project in Grand Forks has attracted attention because the company at the heart of it is Chinese.
The Fufeng Group wants to build a corn-milling facility in Grand Forks, and they’re seeking some heavy investments from the taxpayers to make it happen.
They want tax exemptions. They want infrastructure. The usual stuff.
At another time, this project wouldn’t be particularly controversial, but China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic, its efforts to use its economic clout to project communist authoritarianism into liberal societies like America’s, and the ongoing travesty of its human rights record has a lot of people questioning any business deal involving the country.
Defenders of the Grand Forks deal argue that Fufeng is privately held. Their stocks are traded on the Hong Kong Exchange. But China is a communist country, and its economy is state-controlled. Can it really be said that any company, headquartered in that economic environment, is operating free of the influence of the Chinese Communist Party?