U.S President Joe Biden told the media earlier in 2021 after a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping that China was “going to eat our lunch.” Heads up, they already are- literally eating our lunch as they buy up American farmland and invest in thousands of American companies.
“The current trend in the U.S. is leading us toward the creation of a Chinese-owned agricultural land monopoly,” Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) warned in a recent House Appropriations hearing.
According to American Military News, Newhouse raised his concerns about Chinese land ownership as he proposed an amendment in a new agricultural appropriations bill, H.R. 4356. The amendment would block any new agricultural purchases by companies wholly or partly controlled by the Chinese government. Furthermore, it would ban existing Chinese-owned farms in the U.S. from drawing from federal agricultural support programs.
Rep. Newhouse is an agricultural scientist and served as Director of Agriculture in Washington from 2009-2013. Democrats were fearful that the amendment might cause an anti-Asian backlash through the country, but the legislative package passed the House on a bipartisan vote. The issue now is the Senate.
Robby Starbuck, a candidate for U.S. Congress in the Middle Tennessee 5th district race, recently drew attention to the threat of Communist China buying America’s farmlands. The candidate stated on Twitter,
Raise your hand if you think we should ban Chinese companies and Chinese nationals from buying farmland in the US AND apply a yearly special tax to existing farmland owned by Chinese nationals until they sell it and apply the proceeds to local infrastructure improvements.
Our farmland is critical to our survival. Giving control of it to a communist entity is beyond stupid. It’s dangerous. They‘ll never let us control their farmland. This practice must end. US farmland should be owned by US citizens. Protect our food supply and put Americans FIRST!”
The China Factor – it’s not all about “food security”
In December, China was accused of hoarding food such as grains, dairy, and other items, causing the price of food to climb. Of course, we understand that’s not the only reason for the price increase, but it is one. According to financial newsite, Nikkei Asia,
China’s production of wheat and other provisions, as well as the amount of land used for agriculture plateaued in 2015. “Agricultural productivity in China is low due to the dispersion of farmland and soil contamination,” said Goro Takahashi, a professor emeritus at Aichi University and expert on Chinese agriculture. “The amount of agricultural production will continue to stall as farmers migrate to urban areas.”
China currently holds the following,
- 65% of the World’s Maize (corn)
- 61% of the World’s Rice
- 51% of the World’s Wheat
- 37% of the World’s Soybeans
None of that counts meat. In 2013, WH Group, a Hong Kong company, acquired Smithfield meats, the largest pork producer. They have been a US Company since 1936 and provide about 40,000 jobs. Keep in mind that whether it’s Hong Kong or mainland China, all businesses owned by Chinese companies must be submitted to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). And much of their push is tied to the Communist’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” China also acquired pork producer Clougherty Packing in California in 2017. With these acquisitions come acres and acres of land.
According to the agricultural news site, Agweb,
With 1.4 billion mainland citizens at the supper table, China is desperate for more farmland. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping rarely wastes a speech opportunity without mentioning food security, China is the No. 1 ag commodity importer worldwide.
Though Chinese President Xi Jinping often claims it’s all for food security, there is much more to it. According to a USDA report from 2018,
Chinese officials have ambitious strategic plans for agricultural investments to reshape patterns of agricultural trade and increase China’s influence in global markets.”
Currently, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma have laws against foreign investors acquiring farmland. One of the main problems is that some foreign actors, particularly China, are well-versed in hiding their land ownership. However, other states like Missouri actively welcomed foreign investment in farmland acquisition. Idaho attempted to bring in Chinese investment in 2007, but when they wanted to start a 30,000-acre industrial enclave near the Boise airport, backlash ensued, and it was not built.
The Federal law requiring foreign entities to advise the Department of Agriculture of investments in land is only haphazardly enforced, and companies from China are listed under various names. In addition, the USDA has not enforced tracking of foreign entities under the law since 2014.
Chinese companies have various names, from “Brights Foods” to WH to COFCO Group, which operates under multiple names in multiple countries. Tracking who belongs to what is a challenging task. The Chinese Communists have their tendrils in nearly every American industry, from food production to farming, transportation, education, medicines, media, movies, etc. All of it is alarming. And decoupling from the Chinese hydra will be daunting…even if the government tries.
“We see the trend. We see the number of acres and companies that have been purchased by the communist government of China. And we should stop it now,” warns Rep. Dan Newhouse.