China’s threat to our national security may surprise you

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One of the greatest threats to the United States and our beacon of freedom and democracy is the Chinese Communist Party. As a country, we face a serious national security threat in the form of CCP-backed individuals and companies buying land in the United States.

One of the biggest concerns about allowing Chinese-backed organizations to acquire land is the potential to undermine our country’s food security, economic stability and military preparedness. The CCP’s ownership of US farmland poses an enormous threat to several areas of national security.

One of the most critical national security implications of Chinese-backed organizations buying land near US military installations is the risk of espionage. Chinese farms would be able to monitor our military installations and collect information about them that could allow unauthorized access or even attack.

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In addition, Chinese-backed firms could also influence companies that supply the military, leading to sabotage or technology theft. Such scenarios could significantly impact the military’s readiness and ability to respond effectively to threats.

China's Xi Jinping

China’s massive surge in purchases of American farmland poses a national security threat. FILE: Chinese President Xi Jinping waves at an event to introduce new members of the Politburo Standing Committee October 23, 2022 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing . (AP Photo/Andy Wong, file)

We’ve seen her spy playbook before. In July 2020, President Trump closed the Chinese consulate in my hometown of Houston, Texas, after years of FBI intelligence showing Chinese officials were stealing valuable medical research and attempting to infiltrate the oil and gas industry.

Furthermore, the CCP’s purchase of US farmland poses a serious risk to our country’s food security. China has been known to use its economic and military power to dictate conditions and policies in other countries. Allowing them to own vast amounts of US farmland would give them extensive control over the country’s food supply and allow them to exploit their position in negotiations and threaten US security. Moreover, given China’s lax food safety standards, there could also be health risks if CCP-run farms allow US food production.

In 2020, Chinese investors had amassed 192,000 acres of farmland in the United States. Now, just three years later, Chinese investors own about 385,000 acres, doubling their investment in American farmland. Since 2010, China has enlarged its United States Farm ownership by 1,000%.

The US government must take action to enforce strict regulations and prevent unregulated purchases of farmland near military installations that could threaten national security. In addition, the US government must demand transparency from Chinese-owned companies and disclose the full extent of Chinese farmland in the US in order to take appropriate measures to protect the country’s interests.

Congress should immediately pass legislation restricting or banning Chinese companies from acquiring land near US military bases, critical infrastructure and sensitive natural resources. The US government could also strengthen the United States Committee on Foreign Investments (CFIUS) to increase scrutiny of Chinese investments in critical infrastructure and land purchases.

The departments of Treasury, Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, State and Energy all sit on the CFIUS board, but the Department of Agriculture does not. Legislation to add the Department of Agriculture to CFIUS should also be passed without delay.

Also, confiscating or reclaiming US farmland bought by the CCP is certainly a viable option. In recent months we have seen how far the Chinese government is willing to go to seize US military secrets. According to several Biden defense officials, China’s spy balloon collected valuable military intelligence from several American military bases as it criss-crossed our country.

In 2020, Chinese investors had amassed 192,000 acres of farmland in the United States. Now, just three years later, Chinese investors own about 385,000 acres, doubling their investment in American farmland. Since 2010, China has increased its US farm ownership by 1,000%.

Taking our country back from Chinese organizations would certainly prevent the CCP from spying on us any further. In fact, my office is currently working on legislation that would allow $27 billion from President Joe Biden’s Green New Deal black-money fund to be used to buy back farmland in the United States that had been purchased by CCP-affiliated groups.

Ultimately, it is crucial for the US government to balance economic interests with national security concerns when it comes to land purchases by Chinese-owned companies, as it has significant implications across the country.

US defense officials warn that the United States could be at war with China as early as 2025. As our greatest adversary, it is important that Congress begins enforcing strict policies that will put America on course for success if war with China ever occurs.

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