EXCLUSIVE: GOP Senator Demands Biden Admin Review Chinese Communist-Linked Firm Planning Midwest Factory

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Philip Lenczycki Investigative Reporter
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Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall urged the Biden administration Monday to review potential national security threats caused by a firm linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to a letter shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Marshall’s letter asks the Department of Defense (DOD) and Treasury Department for an “expert, professional assessment” of Cnano USA Inc. (Cnano USA), which intends to build a chemical plant for liquid conductive paste outside Kansas City, roughly 70 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base, the DCNF recently reported based on research conducted by The Heritage Foundation Oversight Project and Heritage Action.

However, Cnano USA’s Chinese parent company, Cnano Jiangsu Technology Co., Ltd. (Cnano Jiangsu), employs dozens of CCP members and participated in a Chinese government program that supports the development of China’s military, the DCNF found. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Exec At US Battery Manufacturer Pictured At Chinese Communist Party Meetings)

“I am requesting your expert, professional assessment of any national/military security threats that this Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked facility may pose to our military and national security infrastructure,” Marshall’s letter states. “Please focus your assessment on the American military installations listed in my previous letter, namely Fort Leavenworth, Whiteman Air Force Base, and Honeywell’s Kansas City National Security Campus.”

In February 2024, Marshall, fellow Kansan Rep. Jake LaTurner and six other Republican lawmakers led by Missouri Rep. Mark Alford, sent a letter to the DOD and Treasury Department calling on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate Cnano USA’s intended chemical plant. The DOD sent a response to Marshall on March 12, stating that they were working with the Treasury Department to “prepare a response” that would “be completed by the end of March.”

In addition to requesting a review of the potential national security threats posed by Cnano USA’s facility to local military installations, Marshall’s latest letter also asks the DOD and Treasury Department several questions related to Cnano USA and Cnano Jiangsu’s ties to the Chinese government.

“Are you aware of any Chinese Communist Party members within Cnano?” Marshall’s letter asks. “Do any of the 28 CCP Party members employed by Cnano Jiangsu have ties to the People’s Liberation Army?”

Cnano Jiangsu employed 28 CCP members as of 2022, according to the Chinese firm’s social responsibility report from that year, the DCNF previously reported.

Cnano USA’s president, Shawn Montgomery, acknowledged that Cnano Jiangsu employed “23 or 26 Party members” when questioned by Kansas Republican state Rep. Patrick Penn during a March 2024 Kansas House hearing.

Marshall’s latest letter also asks the DOD and Treasury Department if they’re “aware of any Chinese Government subsidy or direct support of Cnano?”

The DCNF recently reported that Cnano Jiangsu’s 2022 social responsibility report states that the Chinese government awarded the Chinese firm more than $7 million dollars for participating in various state-backed programs. Cnano Jiangsu received at least $160,000 of that amount for participating in the Chinese government’s 863 Program, which “provides funding and guidance for efforts to clandestinely acquire U.S. technology and sensitive economic information,” according to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

Montgomery also acknowledged that Cnano Jiangsu had participated in the 863 Program and had removed references to the program from its website when questioned by state Rep. Kristey Williams during the March 2024 Kansas House hearing.

“The 863 reference that was on there, I don’t know why it was taken down to be completely honest,” Montgomery testified. “Furthermore, I don’t even know why it was there to begin with.”

While an archived version of Cnano Jiangsu’s website states the Chinese firm had previously “undertaken a number of national 863” projects, references to the program were removed less than a week after the DCNF’s December 2023 report was published.

Cnano USA's president Shawn Montgomery delivered a speech and answered questions at the Kansas House Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Economic Development on March 5, 2024. [Screenshot/YouTube/KSLegislature]

Cnano USA’s president Shawn Montgomery delivered a speech and answered questions at the Kansas House Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Economic Development on March 5, 2024. [Screenshot/YouTube/KSLegislature]

Marshall’s letter to the Biden administration also asks if it might allow Cnano USA to operate in Kansas as a “foreign principal,” following the passage of SB172, a Kansas House bill preventing entities linked to China and other adversarial countries from owning or purchasing agricultural land within 150 miles of military installations.

“It is imperative that we get urgent answers to these pressing questions,” Marshall’s letter states. “I look forward to hearing your responses and seeing your plan to protect American military infrastructure.”

Cnano USA and Cnano Jiangsu did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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