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Chinese Purchases of U.S. Land Come Under Spotlight

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2024
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by Ben Solis
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25 Comments
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AMAC EXCLUSIVE

Trade war between USA and China concept. two clenched fists punch each other on USA and China flag background.

One of the most important under-the-radar issues in the 2024 election could be the practice of Chinese nationals and companies buying up vast swaths of American land.

In recent months, a number of states, mostly led by conservatives, have taken action to halt the practice of Chinese entities buying large tracts of farmland, ranchland, and timber claims. However, without strong federal action, which President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have been unwilling to pursue, the practice could continue to imperil America’s physical and economic security.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who in March signed a law that bars China and five other countries from purchasing farmland in her state, has warned that China is “buying up our entire food supply chain and when America can’t feed itself and we rely on another country to feed us it becomes a national security issue.” Montana, Virginia, North Dakota, and Florida are among other states that have passed similar bans.

But those efforts haven’t been enough to stop the growth in Chinese land acquisitions.

According to “The Land Report 100,” an annual ranking of the largest landowners in the United States that has been cited by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, this year a Chinese national made an appearance on the list for the first time. Tianqiao Chen, who moved to San Francisco in 2017 and is worth an estimated $4 billion, recently purchased nearly 200,000 acres of timber land in Oregon, putting him at number 82 on the list.

While the “official” narrative on Chen is that he made his fortune from founding online gaming company Shanda Interactive, sources with whom I spoke said that may not be the whole story.

One former high-ranking official in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who defected in the 1990s, Dr. Xiahou Li Wei, told me that the media has overlooked Chen’s membership in the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). According to the institution’s archived web pages, updated on June 29, 2017, Chen served two full terms with the CPPCC from 2008 to 2018.

Officially, the CPPCC exists to advise the CCP on governing matters. But Dr. Wei told me that it is an entity “from which top party elites are recruited” and that the CCP often entrusts its members “with special tasks, which include transferring and managing the wealth of Chinese leaders out of the country or financing assets for the CCP abroad.”

While Dr. Wei emphasized that he is not alleging at all that Chen is working on behalf of the CCP, the American people nonetheless deserve to know the background of Chinese nationals who are buying up land in their country.

Yeliu Fu, another defector who formerly worked in the CCP Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, told me that someone in Chen’s position on the CPPCC would likely be considered an “official” in the CCP rather than just a member.

Last year, Sun Guangxin, another Chinese billionaire, also bought more than 130,000 acres of farmland in Texas. According to the Daily Express US, Sun has “close ties to the CCP” and even opened a branch of the CCP in his company during the 1990s.

Professor Luli Jiao-long, a former CCP official who defected to the West, told me that this effort to park Chinese wealth in foreign assets, particularly in America, is nothing new. “A few years before Deng ordered the massacre of students” on Tiananmen Square, he said, Zhao Ziyang, former vice chairman of the CCP, “directed a mass exodus of Chinese assets abroad.”

Luli, who was involved with the effort, said the CCP “cooperated with more than 1,000 firms and individuals worldwide who helped us to park this wealth securely. The goal was to mix Chinese assets with foreign assets.” Luli said this strategy has continued through to today, and the CCP regularly looks for ways to gain more control over foreign assets. American land is particularly prized.

“A ban on non-citizen ownership of significant assets is the only bulletproof solution” Luli said, adding that examining foreign companies whose capital increases “in sharp, irregular intervals” is another strategy to determine if Chinese firms or individuals may be acting as agents of the CCP. “An individual who lived under a non-free regime must first learn liberties and appreciate America’s unique political system before acquiring U.S. wealth,” Dr. Wei added.

Every defector with whom I spoke agreed that the threat to American national security from purchases of U.S. land has increased dramatically in recent years. They advise that Congress put in place more barriers to Chinese nationals buying large amounts of land.

Last June, as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress did vote for a measure requiring the Department of Agriculture to review the sale of land comprising more than 320 acres or valued at more than $5 million to Chinese, Iranian, North Korean, or Russian nationals. However, the ban excluded individuals from those countries who are legal residents of the United States.

Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has vowed to stop Chinese investment in U.S. farmland if he retakes the White House this fall. He has also pledged to stop Chinese nationals from owning telecommunications, energy, technology, and medical supply companies.

With few signs that Biden is willing to take similar action, the future of U.S. economic security and the ongoing competition with China could hang in the balance of November’s election.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 month ago

There is absolutely no good reason to allow the Chinese Communists to buy US land. China steals secrets and security from the US, and has a goal of destroying us as a Constitutional Republic and a world class power. The Federal government has a responsibility to keep America safe and secure. In fact, it should be made into national law that no person who has economic interests in China should be allowed to buy US land. China is actively weakening the US. Our government should get out of the business of making it easier for China to destroy us as a people and as a nation.

Granny26
Granny26
1 month ago

No one who is NOT a US citizen should be able to buy land in the US.

John Bass
John Bass
1 month ago

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Senator Joe Biden that arranged for the sale of land to China in the first place? It appears he’s been doing these type of things for quite some time…Is there is no limit to his corruption?

PapaGrouch
PapaGrouch
1 month ago

Treason, pure and simple. Another example of how this nation dying from within. Credit to Obama/Biden/global elitists. In a perfect world: President Trump will not only stop any foreign national from buying up U.S. property but seize the lands back from their foreign national owners, any and all who are hostile to the U.S. What would be done with the land afterwards is a problem to be, and can be, resolved. Legally, patriotically and ethically. What will happen remains to be seen.

Soitfire?1940
Soitfire?1940
1 month ago

The people who sell this land are devoid of any moral principals,Judases selling out their country for thirty pieces of silver or in this case Yen.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

China us expanding in the Pacific while we’re busy saving Ukraine. China’s building a navy while we build EVs. Wake up.

Granny
Granny
1 month ago

It may be too late. Between China and the Mid-East and of course Bill Gates and George Soros buying up farm land (FARM LAND) we are in trouble. Control the medicine and food and you control the country. China already produces over 90% of our pharmaceuticals and it seems they’re getting harder and harder to get. Be alert people…it’s intentional.

Jeri
Jeri
1 month ago

Fact: an American landowner sold that land to the Chinese. Why, because the Chinese pay well and everyone loves money. We need to start looking at these sellouts to America. Every time I say this I get grief and downvotes, why?

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Another of Biden’s crimes against America is allowing for this recklessness. China must not be allowed to purchase such a swath of American land. Period.

Bob Chase
Bob Chase
1 month ago

Simple, no foreign national should be permitted to own land in the US. If land ownership is desired become a citizen.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 month ago

Sell the CCP the Washington swamp, and all thats in it. Make Uncle Joe the head of it all. Then build a 100 ft high fence all the way around it. Kyle L.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 month ago

Contact Congress and force them to pass legislation that BANS any and all Foreign countries or entities including Foreigners from purchasing and/or owning any United States property in any way shape or form.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

If the price is right everything is for sale Officials involved in the sales were bought first They are the ones that should be tried But who will bring up the charges in this house of cards

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 month ago

No land should ever be sold to communist China what is wrong with the ones that sell it just after money all that land should be resold to legal citizens of this country and never allow anyone to sell any land to any country outside of the US they have to right to own this land what is wrong with this government and country.

David Wright
David Wright
1 month ago

I don’t think any non citizen or duel citizen should be allowed to own any U.S. land. They could be allowed to rent but not owned so if there was an objection to how they were using the land their occupation of that land could be revoked.

Evelyn
Evelyn
1 month ago

China purchasing USA land

Donald Hakes
Donald Hakes
1 month ago

It’s all about greed. Americans are the greediest humans on the planet. The CCP knows it. How much land can they buy in the next 8 months?

John
John
1 month ago

Let them buy as much as they want! They just can’t ever take possession or build / grow anything on it.

American
American
1 month ago

This is how you defeat an enemy from within. You get into their camp. The US is China’s enemy and they are out to destroy us.Our laws regarding foreigners is too soft and must be hardened. Visas, especially H1, must he very difficult to obtain and those wishing to come here must be thoroughly vetted and prove they need to enter our country.

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