LaTurner asks for probe of CHICOM company locating near Fort Leavenworth

The Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to infiltrate American supply chains and gain insight into our most critical military operations and homeland security practices. Over the past few years, we have witnessed President Xi Jinping’s increased aggression within America’s borders — buying up farmland, spying on us with high-altitude surveillance balloons, operating illegal Chinese police stations on U.S. soil and stealing valuable intellectual property.

Now, America’s greatest adversary is setting up shop in Kansas under the guise of Cnano Technology USA, Inc. Cnano Jiangsu Technology Co. Ltd. is an international manufacturing company based in China that produces energy storage products for electric vehicle batteries, cellphones and power tools. Cnano Jiangsu and its CEO Tao Zheng have extensive and alarming ties to President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party.

Cnano Jiangsu operates a CCP Party branch with more than two dozen members, and participates in CCP-backed initiatives, including Project 863 and UWFD, the United Front Work Department. Project 863, which has sent money to Cnano Jiangsu, has been a major CCP initiative to advance China’s military and civilian science and technology, and according to a report from the office of the Director of National Intelligence, it provides funding to clandestinely acquire American technology and sensitive economic information. The United Front Work Department is a political blueprint that uses influence and intelligence operations to shape how the United States and other nations view the People’s Republic of China. Not only has CEO Tao participated in UWFD events, but he also presented a report to the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party expressing his commitment to continuing to serve President Xi and the CCP.

Cnano USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cnano Jiangsu operating in the United States, has recently announced plans to invest $95 million in a 330,000-square-foot facility at New Century Commerce Center in Johnson County. This new manufacturing facility is just 34 miles from Fort Leavenworth, 72 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base, 105 miles from Fort Riley, 165 miles from McConnell Air Force Base, and is in the heart of an area critical to the security of Kansas. Its close proximity to these significant military installations and other critical infrastructure opens the door to Chinese espionage and poses a serious threat to the United States and Kansas. Chinese nationals have committed more than 100 known acts of espionage on American military bases in just the last few years. We can’t let Beijing use Cnano USA to add to that list.

Cnano USA could also become embedded in our local economy and supply chains, threatening the intellectual property and data security of Kansas businesses and organizations. Chinese law requires CCP-backed companies operating in foreign countries to assist in the state-sponsored theft of information — including collecting, transmitting and storing data they receive from American companies. Simply allowing Cnano USA to operate in Kansas puts our research, trade secrets and employee information at risk of falling into the hands of CCP leaders.

As a member of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, I am committed to preventing Communist China from exploiting American supply chains, and to ensuring that CCP-backed companies aren’t gaining access to crucial military bases in Kansas and across the country. We can’t stand by and let President Xi steal from, bully and spy on Kansans right in our own backyard. That’s why I wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urging the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to open an investigation into Cnano USA.

The Biden administration has a choice: Fulfill its duty to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from expanding its foothold in Kansas, or roll the dice and hope Cnano USA operates in good faith. I hope it chooses the former. America’s economic and national security depend on it.

Jake LaTurner – U.S. Congressman, Kansas 2nd District

Jake LaTurner is a U.S. Congressman from the 2nd District of Kansas. He was the 40th Kansas State Treasurer from 2017 to 2021 and a state senator from the 13th district from 2013 to 2017.