US blocks China-linked crypto firm’s purchase of land near nuclear base

The United States has barred a Chinese-owned crypto firm from using land near a strategic US nuclear missile base, President Joe Biden announced Monday, citing national security concerns.

The order requires MineOne Partners Limited to divest from land it purchased in 2022 which sits less than a mile from Wyoming’s Francis E. Warren Air Force Base (AFB), home to Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, the White House said in a statement.

Biden’s decision follows an investigation by the cross-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which “identified national security risks” with the purchase of land so close to the nuclear base, according to the White House.

CFIUS also raised concerns about the installation of “specialized” crypto mining equipment on the land which is “potentially capable of facilitating surveillance and espionage activities.”

“Today’s divestment order underscores President Biden’s steadfast commitment to protecting the United States’ national security,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

The announcement marks the latest step by the Biden administration to keep Chinese-owned companies away from technology deemed crucial to national security.

The administration has said it wants to protect US manufacturing from cheaper Chinese imports, while stressing its desire to maintain positive trading ties in other areas.

“China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by using unfair practices,” Biden said in one such statement earlier this year. “China’s policies could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security.”

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