TEXAS- Last week, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced legislation which would ban members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from purchasing land in the United States, according to The Spectator.
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) June 11, 2021
Under current protocols, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews most purchase agreements by foreign entities seeking to acquire land in the U.S.
Under Roy’s act, the Securing America’s Land from Foreign Interference Act, it would put restrictions on China and foreign countries trying to buy land in the U.S. Fellow Texas lawmakers Reps. Lance Gooden and Randy Weber cosponsored the bill.
“In their quest for global domination, China has been buying land and strategic infrastructure all over the world and in the United States,” Roy said.
“Direct Chinese investment in the US economy is a major threat to the American way of life and requires that we take serious action to thwart the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from every seizing control of strategically valuable domestic assets in the US,” Roy continued.
“In Texas, a Chinese based energy company purchased more than 130,000 acres of land near Laughlin Air Force Base and is now attempting to build a wind farm to access the U.S. power grid,” he added.
What could possibly go wrong with that scenario?
The purchase of land near a defense facility understandably raised eyebrows, as reported by WTXF-TV.
“The Securing America’s Land from Foreign Interference Act will ensure that U.S. land never comes under control of the CCP by prohibiting the purchase of U.S. public or private real estate to any members of the CCP,” Roy said.
According to the Daily Caller, the ban would cover the contiguous 48 states, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, plus Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and any territory possessed by the United States.
In a press release, Roy said:
“All across the globe, China is buying up land and infrastructure to strengthen their quest for global power and dominance,” he said.
“The [U.S.] needs to recognize the threat of direct Chinese investment in the U.S. economy and take serious action to prohibit the [CCP] from ever gaining this type of domestic control over us.”
A report issued by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that foreign investors have interest in over 35.2 million acres of U.S. agricultural land as of Dec. 31, 2019.
Of that total, 2.7% of all privately held agricultural land—and 1.5% of all land in the country—is held by Chinese investors, holding a total of 191,652 acres (as of Dec. 31, 2019).
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In his statement, Roy said, “This is a huge national security threat. We shouldn’t allow U.S. land to be under the control of U.S. adversaries.”
Roy cited the recent purchase of land in Texas by China as an example of what he calls a “security threat.”
Roy said it was a matter of being consistent with what China does, noting that U.S. citizens cannot buy land inside China, therefore “CCP members should not be able to buy land in the U.S.”
Roy’s bill does not mention exactly who is a “member” of the CCP, although according to the South China Morning Post, it is estimated that one out of every 15 individuals in the country is Communist Party member. CCP members encompass a wide range of Chinese citizens, including fishermen, herdsmen, and blue-collar workers to entrepreneurs, intellectuals and politicians, that outlet reported in 2015.
The Daily Caller said they reached out to the Chinese embassy, however received no response.
Roy’s bill comes on the heels of a situation in Australia reported last December, when a Chinese real estate company bought an Australian island and blocked its residents from living there, according to the New York Post.
Residents complain that they are not allowed to return to their homes since China Bloom, the Chinese developer purchased a 99-year lease to take control of Keswick Island in 2019.
“I just don’t think they want Australians on the island,” said former resident Julie Willis in an interview with “A Current Affair.” “I think that they want to have this island solely for the use of the Chinese tourism market.”
China Bloom has also banned residents from renting out their homes on Airbnb, decimating the tourism industry.
Given China’s moves across the globe, however it cannot be ruled out that perhaps China’s interest in this location is a more strategic one given Australia’s location.
Meanwhile, the United States Senate approved legislation that would increase investment in American science and technology programs, designed to combat China’s recent aggressive stance around the globe.
In a bipartisan vote, the Senate voted 68-32 to approve the Innovation and Competition Act, which will provide $200 billion in funding for U.S. scientific and technological advancements over the next five years. That amount of money is of course a pittance compared to what Congress has been spending over the last year in the name of coronavirus “relief.”
The bill, drafted on a bipartisan basis by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Todd Young (R-IND) provides $52 billion in assistance for semiconductor manufacturing companies to produce computer chips used to power military devices and computer products, including vehicles, cellphones and video game consoles.
An additional $81 billion would be provided to the National Science Foundation Budget over fiscal years 2022 thru 2026.
According to American Military News, last month Biden’s top Asian foreign policy official, Kurt Campbell said U.S. engagement with China has come to an end and a “period of intense competition with China” has begun. This despite the fact that the US has seemingly been in competition with China for some time.
Also, give the Biden family’s rather cozy relationship with Chinese interests, it will prove interesting to see if this is nothing but saber rattling or cheap talk.
According to Bloomberg, Campbell, speaking at Stanford University said, “The period that was broadly described as engagement has come to an end,” and noted that the policy between the two nations would operate under “a new set of parameters,” with the “dominant paradigm” being “competition.”
Campbell specifically spoke to recent actions by China, including a clash with Indian troops along the joint border between the two nations, as well as an “economic campaign” against Australian goods. He said that “signals that China is determined to play a more assertive role” on the world stage.
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