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Congressional spending bill cracks down on foreign buy-up of US land after Chinese deals raise alarm


Daily Caller News Foundation

Congress released a spending bill on Sunday that would enforce stricter rules on China’s purchase of agricultural land inside the U.S.

Leaders in both the House and Senate announced half a dozen appropriation bills on Sunday to be voted on by lawmakers ahead of a potential government shutdown on March 8. A provision in one of the bills provides funding and improved notification regarding the buy-up of agricultural land across the U.S. by China and other foreign actors amid concerns that these nations may be conducting espionage or other adversarial activities.

Specifically, the bill would make the secretary of Agriculture, currently Tom Vilsack, a member of the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) regarding “covered transactions involving agricultural land, biotechnology, and industry,” according to the text. The bill requires the Secretary to notify CFIUS about land purchases by foreign actors that could pose national security risks.

“For these purposes, the agreement provides a $2,500,000 increase in the Office of Homeland Security for CFIUS reviews and a $1,000,000 increase in the Farm Production and Conservation Business Center to improve AFIDA reporting,” reads the bill text.

The bill highlights land purchase concerns emanating from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. All four countries are currently under heavy sanctions from the U.S.

Lawmakers and public officials have raised alarm regarding China’s land buy-up in particular. Several Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked firms and companies have purchased or attempted to purchase agricultural land across the U.S., some near sensitive military installations.

In one example, Cnano Technology USA – a subsidiary of C-Nano Technology, which is owned by Chinese-based entity Cnano Jiangsu Technology – plans to build a 333,000-square-foot electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Kansas located within 35 miles from Fort Leavenworth and 70 miles from the Whiteman Air Force Base.

Battery manufacturing company Gotion, a subsidiary of CCP-linked Gotion High-Tech, has several facilities across the U.S. and plans to build several more. Democratic public officials including Michigan Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer welcomed Gotion into their states, even as many residents have expressed anger at the prospect.

Gotion plans to build a manufacturing plant in Michigan located within 100 miles of a U.S. military base that previously hosted Taiwanese military forces. The firm is also planning to build a separate facility in Illinois located 14 miles from the state National Guard and 30 miles from an Army Reserve Camp.

“Just ask yourself the question: can Americans buy land in China near its military bases? Of course, the answer is no,” Chairman of the House Select Committee on the CCP Mike Gallagher previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We cannot allow the CCP to collect valuable intelligence here at home that they might leverage in the event of a crisis.”

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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