US order for Chinese-linked company to sell property 'discrimination'

A decision by the US government to force a company that is reportedly Chinese-linked to sell a property near a US Air Force base in the state of Wyoming is one more dramatic act in the "China threat" play, a Chinese observer said on Tuesday.

The White House on Monday (US time) issued an order prohibiting the purchase and requiring the divestment of real estate operated as a cryptocurrency mining facility in close proximity to a US Air Force base in Wyoming, which is a strategic missile base that's home to the US Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The owner of the facility, MineOne Partners, has been reported to be majority-owned by entities in China.

The order by US President Joe Biden was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a panel led by the Treasury Department.

The CFIUS cited the presence of specialized and foreign-sourced equipment potentially capable of facilitating surveillance and espionage activities as a reason for its decision, without providing further evidence.

The move came amid increasingly intense anti-China sentiment in the US and the spinning of a "land grabbing" narrative, and Chinese analysts noted that the event may be nothing more than a new episode of the "China threat" during a US election year.

Zhou Mi, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the event may prove the US government is overly concerned with the issue of national security.

"Military bases all had security precautions in place and the sudden revoking of the property deal may prove unnecessary," Zhou said, noting that limiting the prohibition to specific groups is a politicized operation and blatant discrimination and serves only to dent the confidence of global investors in the US.

Investors would prefer transparency and predictability, instead of being told that they have to divest their investment in a retroactive fashion, Zhou said.

The incident came amid media hype in the US over the "China threat."

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo last week warned that the US may take "extreme action" and seek to ban Chinese connected vehicles on national security grounds.

The US has also launched a probe into the Chinese maritime, logistics and shipbuilding industries.

Some Chinese economists and international relations experts said that although it is unsurprising to see some US politicians play the anti-China card as much as they can in an election year, the claim that China is grabbing US land is fairly absurd, as China legally holds less than 1 percent of all the foreign-owned land in the US.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry last week urged the US not to overstretch the concept of national security, or weaken or sever one's economic ties with other countries, which will lead nowhere.

It will only destabilize global industrial and supply chains, disrupt the international trade order and end up harming one's own interests, the Ministry said.

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