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Indiana’s Secret $14.4 Billion Deals with Chinese Firms Raise Security Concerns

Indiana's secretive negotiations with Chinese companies expose potential national security risks and the urgent need for transparency.

In a revelation that sounds alarms for national security, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has been found to be engaging in covert negotiations for 11 business deals with Chinese companies, totaling an estimated $14.4 billion. This secretive maneuvering, cloaked under code names and shielded from the scrutiny of even state legislators, starkly underscores the pressing need for legislative oversight and transparency in foreign investments, especially when they involve countries with adversarial stances like Communist China.

A piece of proposed legislation, House Bill 1183, sought to modestly rein in foreign adversaries’ capabilities to acquire Hoosier land, spotlighting a glaring vulnerability in the state’s—and indeed, our nation’s—security fabric. The bill’s emergence revealed a disturbing trend: strategic positioning of Chinese enterprises near military facilities, aquifers, and critical infrastructure, an act that could compromise not just local economies but also national security.

The details surrounding these deals are scarce, not because they don’t exist, but because the IEDC, backed by billions in taxpayer dollars, refuses to disclose them. This opaque approach to foreign investments, particularly those from China, a nation known for its global strategy of economic entanglement and espionage, is not just irresponsible—it’s perilous.

Take the Fufeng Group, for example. This Chinese corporation, already flagged by the U.S. Air Force as a significant national security threat, sought to nestle its operations alarmingly close to a National Guard base and atop one of the nation’s most crucial rail lines. This isn’t mere coincidence; it’s a calculated move in China’s long game of geopolitical chess. Yet, Indiana’s legislative and executive branches, thus far, seem content to play along, blinded perhaps by the immediate allure of economic development, disregarding the long-term consequences of allowing a foreign adversary to embed itself within our borders.

Such developments should be a wake-up call, urging not just Indiana but states across the nation to scrutinize and potentially restrict foreign ownership, especially in sectors critical to national security and public welfare. The CCP’s pattern of leveraging economic footholds for geopolitical gains is well-documented. From Canada to New Zealand, we’ve seen how Chinese investments often start as a boon for local economies, only to morph into levers of political and strategic influence.

The passage of H.B. 1183, even in its diluted form, is a step in the right direction, signaling a growing awareness among Hoosiers of the threats posed by unfettered foreign control of American soil. However, it’s just that—a step. The need for comprehensive legislation at both state and federal levels has never been more urgent. This legislation must aim to protect America’s agricultural, technological, and industrial sectors from foreign exploitation, ensuring that our nation’s security, citizens’ welfare, and sovereignty are not for sale.

In the face of such revelations, the IEDC’s stubborn secrecy and the executive branch’s complacency are unacceptable. As Americans, we must demand transparency, accountability, and a resolute stance against foreign adversaries’ encroachments. Our land, our economy, and our security are at stake, and it’s time we recognize the true cost of doing business with the CCP.

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.