Chinese companies have aggressively acquired agricultural land in the United States over the years, raising concerns about a series of issues involving national security. Recently, the United States, the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives and local governments have tried to legislate to restrict China’s acquisition of American land resources. Among them, Decker The bill in Texas caused a rare backlash.
To prevent the CCP from infiltrating? Exacerbate Asian discrimination? Proposal to ban Chinese land purchases in Texas sparks polarized reactionTexas proposal sparks mixed reactions
Since 2015, Sun Guangxin, a Chinese billionaire who once served in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, has successively purchased 130,000 acres of land near an air force base in Texas, which aroused the vigilance of some local officials. After the Texas Legislature passed a bill in 2021 to protect critical infrastructure from the influence of four countries, including China, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Texas)
“It creates all kinds of safety concerns,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. “We cannot allow our enemies to infiltrate our country, take over our food supply, power, and spy on our military installations. This has to stop.”The issue has drawn a backlash after Gov. Greg Abbott recently said he would firmly support Colehorst’s bill. Opponents slammed that the case is suspected of racial discrimination and will exacerbate anti-Asian hatred.
Rep. Gene Wu from Texas, who opposed the proposal, said in an interview with VOA that he has not seen the revised proposal. Even so, he still thinks the proposal is extremely unfair because there are still many visa holders in the U.S. People, according to the current law, can buy houses and properties in the United States, but once the proposal is passed and signed, these people will not be able to purchase land assets in Texas.
Wu Yuanzhi said the proposal is not in line with the constitution, and while fewer people may be affected by the revised bill, it still sends a message to society that in a society where everyone is equal, some people can be treated less equally .”The Asian American community in the U.S. has been facing a spike in anti-Asian violence over the past few years, and the message that the government is now sending is that these people belong to a group that doesn’t enjoy the same protections that everyone else does, and that’s a big deal,” he said. It’s an invitation to attack.”
Congressman Colehorst forwarded to Voice of America her statement on the 20th, saying that the new proposal is only based on the relevant laws passed in Texas in 2021. “As a replica of this law, SB147 also List the same four countries, barring them from future purchases of land in Texas.”But Wu Yuanzhi said that the two laws are very different. The difference is that “this time the bill targets individuals who have nothing to do with the government.”
New Jersey State Assemblyman Doug Steinhardt’s proposal last week to ban foreign ownership of agricultural land also said the proposal would limit foreign governments and individuals’ ownership of agricultural land in the state.“Just a little bit of cowboy logic,” says Miller, a staunch supporter of SB147. “If we can’t buy land in your country, why would we let you buy land on our land? It doesn’t make sense at all.”The Texas Legislature has not yet taken any action on SB147. It is difficult to determine how the final version will be stipulated and how lawmakers will vote before the recess in May.
Government regulation needs to be improved
In recent years, regarding the purchase of land by the Chinese Fufeng Group near the Grand Forks Air Force Base (Grand Forks Air Force Base) in North Dakota, the governor and members of Congress have unanimously expressed strong opposition, warning the corn processing plant built by Chinese companies there May be used to gather intelligence. But the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the federal agency that reviews foreign investment for U.S. national security, recently said it was powerless to stop the project, which falls outside the federal watchdog’s purview.
Under normal circumstances, CFIUS’s deliberations and decisions are not made public. Fufeng rarely announced the results of CFIUS’s handling last month, saying that after an in-depth review, CFIUS has determined that its acquisition project is not a “covered transaction”, therefore, CFIUS will not take any further action on this transaction.
Antonia Tzinova (Antonia Tzinova), a lawyer at Knight Law Firm in the Netherlands, said that CFIUS can only veto a Chinese acquisition of land under two circumstances. One is that Chinese companies are acquiring existing US companies, and the other is that the land acquired by Chinese companies is too close to the sensitive infrastructure identified by CFIUS. In the case of Fufeng, what Fufeng bought was an undeveloped piece of land, which was not an existing normal operation of the business, but the purchase of this piece of land was to develop a business.