Chinese Ownership of US Land Is an ‘Emerging Threat.’ Why Has Our Government ‘Failed to Address’ It?


Fact: The U.S. government is failing to adequately address the threat posed by growing Chinese ownership of American land, according to a report released by the Heritage Foundation on Thursday.

Also a fact: Since July 2006, foreign companies and individuals were no longer permitted to directly acquire and hold People’s Republic of China (PRC) real estate for “investment purposes.”

Question: What the hell is wrong with the U.S. Government? The question is rhetorical and the list of answers is long, but c’mon. This one should be a no-brainer, D.C. geniuses. 

The new report, titled “The Sale of U.S. Real Estate to Foreign Adversaries Threatens National Security,” digs into “the growing national security threats resulting from the Communist Chinese Party (CCP)’s purchases of U.S. real estate.” 

Bryan Burack, The Heritage Foundation’s Senior Policy Advisor for China and the Indo-Pacific and author of the report, summarized the findings in stark terms:

China’s ownership of American land is nontransparent and unscrutinized, and the federal government has failed to address potential threats even as Chinese ownership of U.S. real estate increases. The United States should be watching land and real estate transactions from our top adversary, not ignoring them.  

Communist China seeks to undermine the United States in an effort to become the world’s dominant power. The United States’ natural resources are one of our most important advantages over the CCP, and they need to be protected.

State governments across the U.S. deserve to be commended for taking action where the federal government has not. I hope this report and model legislation can help empower their efforts with ground truth and options for legislation.

I’m not a national security expert but ” state governments … deserve to be complimented for taking action where the federal government has not” isn’t reassuring, particularly given that China’s continuing its U.S. land grab isn’t exactly breaking news.

Read: China Is a Threat to America in More Ways Than One – Why Do We Sell Out to Them?

The further I read in the report, the more troublesome it became. For example:

The totality of Chinese-owned real estate in the United States remains unknown and, under current law, is unknowable. For agricultural land, Chinese-owned acreage reportedly only constitutes a small share of the United States’ total, but has increased rapidly in recent years, suggesting a growing threat that would best be managed now before it turns into a significant problem.


As China and the U.S. sink deeper into a New Cold War, national security threats associated with these real estate interests are growing and coming into sharper focus. Protecting the nation from these threats requires an effective response from federal national security agencies as well as state governments. 

It is imperative that state and federal lawmakers ensure that they have the capability to monitor, review, and, when necessary, prohibit transactions in U.S. farmland and other real estate that pose a national security threat.

The deeper one digs into this whole thing, the more ominous it gets.

According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, Chinese entities have spent more than $100 billion acquiring American companies since 2010. For example

Battery maker Gotion, which plans to build factories in Michigan and Illinois, [has] participated in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) programs that acquire technology for China’s military.

Smithfield Foods, America’s largest pork producer, is owned by a Chinese firm and exports massive quantities of pork to its China-based “sister company,” [which has] stockpiled food for the Chinese military.

The examples are endless.

Here is a sobering thought — and true, according to Heritage: [emphasis, mine]

The United States currently has no system for broadly monitoring Chinese ownership of U.S. real estate. 

Ownership of real estate is overseen by state and local governments, and even if the federal government did institute a system to collect such data, the United States’ friendliness toward shell companies would render any results incomplete at best. 

Non-ownership interests, such as leases, easements, licenses, and rights to water or subsurface minerals, may be even harder to discern.

Incidentally, the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process has not only repeatedly failed to prevent threats from Chinese real estate purchases, according to Heritage, but it has also failed to reveal hidden Chinese ownership of agricultural land. 

As I neared the end of writing this article, I was reminded of a famous quote attributed to Russian Bolshevik Vladimir Ilich Lenin: 

The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.

Who knew? 


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