North Carolina also trying to stop entities from rival nations from buying land near military bases

Chinese entities own about 1% of the acres held by foreigners in the United States.

Published: April 28, 2023 8:02am

Lawmakers in North Carolina have approved legislation to prevent state-controlled enterprises from China and other adversarial nations from owning land intended for agriculture or property near military bases.

The state's House unanimously approved the measure Wednesday, according to the Daily Wire.

Entities in which more than half of shares are controlled by China, Cuba, North Korea and Russia or Venezuela would not be permitted to purchase or lease any land within 25 miles of a military installation or any agricultural land, according to the bill. 

"As someone who grew up on a family farm, preserving North Carolina’s farmland is a top priority," North Carolina State Rep. Jennifer Balkcom, a Republican and the primary bill sponsor.

North Carolina has over 518,000 acres of farmland held by foreign entities, according to a report from the Department of Agriculture, an amount that increased by nearly 11,000 acres from 2019 to 2020.

Chinese entities own slightly less than 1% of acres held by foreigners in the United States. However, U.S. officials have become increasingly concerned about China surveillance and data-gathering on Americans. 

South Dakota lawmakers last year moved to prevent Chinese entities from purchasing land in the state, amid the acquisition of farmland near Ellsworth Air Force Base.

And the purchase last year of land near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, where some of the nation’s secure drone technology is located, by Chinese food company Fufeng Group raised similar concerns, the Daily Wire also reports.

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