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Biden bans China crypto-miner from land near nuclear missile base

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Legend, Joe Biden gave MineOne Partners 120 days to sell land near strategic nuclear facility

  • Author, Joao da Silva
  • Role, Economic journalist

US President Joe Biden has ordered a Chinese-owned cryptocurrency miner and its partners to sell land they own near a US nuclear missile base, citing espionage concerns.

MineOne Partners, which the White House says is majority-owned by Chinese citizens, was given 120 days to sell the property, where it runs a crypto mining operation.

The land is less than a mile from an air force base in Wyoming, where intercontinental ballistic missiles are stored.

BBC News has contacted MineOne Partners and the Chinese Embassy in the United States for comment.

“The proximity of foreign real estate to a strategic missile base…and the presence of specialized equipment of foreign origin potentially capable of facilitating surveillance and espionage activities presents a risk to national security,” the White House said in a statement. statement.

Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming is home to Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles.

MineOne purchased the land near the military base in 2022 and later installed cryptocurrency mining equipment.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a powerful body that screens transactions for national security threats, was not informed of the company’s purchase, the White House said .

Authorities were alerted to the transaction after a tip from a member of the public.

The interagency group, led by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, determined that the purchase had national security implications.

President Biden’s decision to force MineOne to sell the land “highlights the critical gatekeeper role that CFIUS plays in ensuring that foreign investment does not undermine our national security,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly concerned about Chinese purchases of properties near sensitive military installations.

The latest White House announcement comes just a day before the Biden administration is set to sharply increase tariffs on several Chinese imports, including electric vehicles.

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