However, U.S. counterintelligence officials noticed that the proposed pagoda would have been a “perfect spot” to collect signals because it would have been high up and only a few miles from the Capitol, sources said, according to CNN. Additionally, China wanted to ship the building materials for the pagoda in diplomatic pouches, preventing U.S. Customs from examining them, the outlet noted.
The U.S. federal government killed the project before it ever got started.
CNN’s report highlighted far more serious concerns about what China has been doing in America’s heartland: selling Chinese-made Huawei telecommunications equipment at low prices to providers in rural America near U.S. military bases.
The FBI found that the equipment being sold in those areas was “capable of capturing and disrupting” communications related to the nation’s nuclear arsenal, sources familiar with the matter reportedly told CNN.
“This gets into some of the most sensitive things we do,” a source told CNN. “It would impact our ability for essentially command and control with the nuclear triad. That goes into the ‘[Big F***ing Deal]’ category. If it is possible for that to be disrupted, then that is a very bad day.”
In the fall of 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) effectively banned companies from using Huawei equipment. The following year, Congress approved $1.9 billion to remove Chinese-made equipment from across the U.S., but two years later the equipment still has not been removed, according to CNN.
The report said that China’s plan to infiltrate U.S. infrastructure began during President Barack Obama’s administration when the FBI uncovered China was exploiting the lack of resources in rural communities along Interstate 25 in Colorado and Montana by selling those communities cheap equipment. In fact, the equipment was so cheap that it appeared to be unprofitable for Huawei.
CNN noted that the area China was targeting contained numerous missile silos and military bases.
The investigation also revealed that China had access to high-definition weather surveillance cameras on the cell towers up and down I-25, which could allow the Chinese to monitor activity on the roads between several military facilities, according to CNN.
Top U.S. officials told CNN that it was possible for China to control the cameras and position them in the direction that they wanted them to look.
Federal officials shut down a Chinese attempt to buy real estate in Utah that was located near testing stations that involved hypersonic weapons.
Another example of a problematic Chinese purchase recently happened in North Dakota where Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group bought hundreds of acres of land to set up a milling plant that is only minutes away from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, CNBC reported. Both top Democrat and Republican lawmakers are opposed to the deal.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) called out what China is doing during a recent Fox News interview, saying that it was a “problem” and it should not be allowed to continue.
“Now, what we have done in Florida. I’ve signed legislation to crack down on undue influence from rogue states, including the CCP. So, for example, we banned Confucius Institutes in the state of Florida, they try to go in higher education, and they try to spread the propaganda,” DeSantis said. “So we’ve taken good steps. And we’re also probably going to do legislation, next legislative session about our pension investments with things that may be linked to the CCP. We don’t have necessarily have a lot of it. But we want to make sure that we’re cutting ties so that we’re not funding our number one adversary.”