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Biden blocks China-backed crypto mining company from owning land near Wyoming military base

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday issued an order banning a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining company from owning land near a nuclear missile base in Wyoming.

The order forces the divestiture of properties operated as a crypto mining facility near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. It also forces the removal of certain equipment owned by MineOne Partners Ltd., a company partly owned by the Chinese state.

This comes as the US will impose major new tariffs on Tuesday on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar energy equipment and medical supplies imported from China, according to a US official and another person familiar with the plan.

The divestment order was issued in coordination with the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – a little-known but potentially powerful government agency charged with scrutinizing corporate deals on national security grounds and with the power to force the company to change. power.

A 2018 law granted CFIUS the authority to review real estate transactions near sensitive locations in the US, including FE Warren Air Force Base.

The order was vague about specific national security concerns, with the Treasury Department saying only that there were issues with “specialized and foreign equipment that could potentially facilitate surveillance and espionage activities” that “posed a significant risk to national security.” .

According to CFIUS, the purchase was only submitted to the agency as required after the panel received a public tip.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, chair of CFIUS, said the committee’s role is “to ensure that foreign investments do not undermine our national security, especially when they involve transactions that pose a risk to sensitive U.S. military installations and involve specialized equipment and technologies involved.”