Congress Targets China’s Sudden Takeover of U.S. Farmland

China’s takeover of U.S. farmland has been targeted by Congress, who proposed a new bill to prohibit future purchases by the communist country.

New Bill Proposed to Stop China

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, has introduced a new bill that proposes to prohibit individuals and corporations affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party from purchasing or leasing farmland in the United States.

Dubbed the “This Land is Our Land Act,” the bill would mandate that such linked entities divest ownership of American farmland within two years or face fines and other penalties.

“No Chinese corporation or individual associated with the CCP should be permitted to own American farmland. It undermines the integrity of our nation’s food supply chain, it presents national security threats when the land is in close proximity to military installations, and it hurts American farmers,” Hawley said.

Senator Hawley’s proposed legislation comes in the wake of a Chinese spy balloon being allowed to drift over the United States before being shot down.

China is a Threat to the U.S.

Americans are increasingly concerned about the rising threat posed by Communist China, which is widely viewed as the United States’ most formidable adversary on the global stage.

The Chinese government’s belligerent actions have continued to escalate amid what many consider to be a weak and indecisive foreign policy approach from the Biden administration.

As tensions continue to rise between the United States and China, The Epoch Times reports that an increasing number of lawmakers and state officials are taking steps to limit land ownership by Chinese entities.

A Hawley news release states the bill, a draft of which was published by Hawley’s office, would:

  • Prohibit Chinese corporations and individuals affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party from acquiring or leasing United States agricultural land.
  • Require Chinese corporations and individuals affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party to divest ownership of United States agricultural land within two years.
  • Establish civil fines and criminal penalties for noncompliance, including forfeiture.

The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 6: “Chinese holdings of U.S. agricultural land have increased significantly in recent years, and nearly half of the Chinese-held acres of agricultural land at the end of 2020 were in Texas,” according to a U.S. Agriculture Department database obtained by the Journal under a FOIA request.

According to a report by The Journal, Chinese investors owned over 338,000 acres of U.S. farmland by the end of 2020, a significant increase from the 75,000 acres they owned at the end of 2010. The report further states approximately 80% of the agricultural acreage owned by Chinese entities in the United States was acquired since 2010.

In a statement on January 31st, Brandon Bochenski, the Republican Mayor of Grand Forks, North Dakota, intends to halt a Chinese agribusiness Fufeng Group project.

The proposed project involved the construction of a large corn mill processing plant approximately 12 miles away from the Grand Forks Air Base, situated close to the border with Minnesota.

CCP Scoops Up Land Beside Military Bases

According to the Journal, “China owns slightly less than 1% of all U.S. farmland held by foreigners, who in total owned around 3% of all privately held agricultural land at the end of 2021, according to the USDA.”

Mayor Bochenski’s decision to halt the Fufeng project was influenced by local community pressure and lobbying efforts from the Air Force.

The culmination of these efforts was a letter written by Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Andrew Hunter, to both of North Dakota’s U.S. senators, in which he expressed concern about the “national security implications” of the proposed Fufeng project.

“Grand Forks Air Force Base is the center of military activities related to both air and space operations … the Department’s view is unambiguous: the proposed project present a significant threat to national security with both near- and long-term risks of significant impacts to our operations in the area,” said Hunter’s letter.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, a Republican, backed Mayor Bochenski’s move to cancel the Fufeng project.

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican, is recognized as one of the toughest members of Congress in dealing with Communist China.

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