China Farmland Purchases of American Land Sparks Security Concerns

( – Several Chinese companies have been forced to scrap their respective planned construction projects on land close to U.S. military installations around the country, after military officials said that these projects posed significant security risks.

Reports indicate that various Chinese firms have bought land close to as many as 19 U.S. military bases in the country, such as Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg) in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California, Fort Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood) in Kileen, Texas; and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

The concerning trend prompted the Biden administration, through the Office of Investment Security of the Treasury Department, to impose rules indicating that all foreign entities will now need permission from the U.S. government to purchase land or property that lies within 100 miles of U.S. bases.

The rule effectively increases the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which already evaluates commercial agreements between the American firms and foreign investors in terms of their potential impact to national security.

In May last year, Chinese company Fufeng Group, planned the construction of a $700 million corn-milling plant just 12 miles away from the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. Local officials said that if the plan had pushed through, it would have created 200 new jobs.

Fufeng reportedly purchased the land – 370 acres – in 2022. However, the Air Force sent a written notice to North Dakota officials saying that it considered Fufeng’s corn-milling plant a security risk. State officials then decided to terminate its agreement with the Chinese firm.

More recently, in May this year, another Chinese firm – this time a cryptocurrency one – was forced to divest its ownership of land in Wyoming also over security concerns. The company, MineOne, had bought land extremely close to a military installation in the state that stores nuclear weapons. The land was reportedly purchased in 2022 as well and was less than a mile away from the military base.

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