By John Hendrickson
The growing influence and power of China should be a concern for all policymakers. China is growing more aggressive militarily and they are attempting to control resources across the globe, including the United States. China is also taking advantage of the United States in terms of trade. The United States is running over $350 billion trade deficit with China. Overall, in 2021 the United States ran a $1 trillion trade deficit. Our massive trade deficit is not the only thing we should be concerned about as China is buying up agricultural land across the United States.
“Unknown to most Americans, the Chinese Communist Party has been buying our farms, land and even our homes for decades. Why? So they can take our food, technology and other resources for themselves,” wrote Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK). Even though some states, such as Iowa, have foreign land ownership restrictions, this does not prevent a foreign power from taking control of various components of food production.
This would be unheard of during the Cold War. “Our nation’s greatest enemy shouldn’t be allowed to purchase our homeland and turn it into de facto enemy territory. We would never have permitted Russian communists to acquire our land in the last Cold War, and we ought not to permit Chinese communists to do so in this Cold War,” argues Sen. Cotton.
Nevertheless, China is “investing” heavily in the United States. “Buyers from the People’s Republic of China purchased $6.1 billion in real estate last year, the most of any foreign buyer. Many of these purchases over the past few years have been of farmland or ranchland near U.S. military bases,” wrote Chuck DeVore, Vice President of National Initiatives at Texas Public Policy Foundation.
It is not just concern over foreign entities controlling agriculture, but also the real possibility of espionage taking place. As an example, Chinese interests purchased several hundreds of acres of ground close to an Air Force base in North Dakota. In Texas, a former Chinese official purchased 130,000 acres close to the Laughlin Air Force base.
Both are concerning and Sen. Cotton noted that the base in North Dakota is home to sophisticated drone technology and is a vital center for military communications. DeVore also notes that major Chinese telecommunications companies have sold communication technologies such as cell towers and routers to rural communities, which raises concerns. “Much of the made-in-China equipment was installed adjacent to the land-based leg of America’s nuclear triad — the 400 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) — in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming,” wrote DeVore.
It is not just agricultural land and enterprises that China is purchasing. Sen. Cotton states that China is also investing in real estate. “Between 2010 and 2020, the American Realtors Association estimates that Chinese nationals bought over $200 billion worth of American real-estate, more than any other country in the world,” wrote. Sen. Cotton.
China’s increasing “investment” in the United States should be a top concern for policymakers.
“How did we get here? The Chinese Communist Party practices strategic mercantilism, fostering key technologies with dual-use civilian and military applications while driving competing industries in other nations out of business,” argues DeVore.
In addition, because of poor and reckless trade policies, China has taken advantage of American markets, which has resulted in a tremendous loss in manufacturing, good paying middle-class jobs, and created dependency.
“Between 2000 and 2007 alone, the United States hemorrhaged 3.4 million manufacturing jobs, about 20 percent of its total. It lost a further 1.5 million manufacturing jobs between 2007 and 2016,” wrote Joel Kotkin, a Washington Fellow at the Claremont Institute.
Many of these were lost to China and Kotkin points out that “the trade deficit with China has cost as many as 3.7 million jobs since 2000.”
The United States is dangerously dependent upon foreign nations, such as China, for necessities. Whether it is semiconductors, manufactured goods, high tech equipment, defense related supplies, pharmaceuticals, among others, the nation is too dependent on overseas powers.
China’s increasing investment into America is a serious national security threat.