The Texas Senate has passed a law that prohibits Chinese nationals from buying certain types of farmland in Texas.
On Wednesday, the Texas Senate passed a bill that seeks to forbid Chinese citizens from buying various types of farmland in Texas, which has raised significant concerns in other areas of the United States.
Senate Bill 147 aims to ban citizens of four nations deemed hostile to the United States, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, from purchasing farmland, with lawmakers fearing that the sale of such land to individuals hostile to America could jeopardize the country’s food security.
Texas State Senator Lois Kolkhorst has cited the need to protect the US from foreign threats as the rationale behind the bill.
The bill also prohibits Chinese ownership of oil, timber, and mineral-bearing land.
“Food security is national security,” she said. “Oil and gas, our rare earth materials, timber – we need to be protecting that.”
In contrast, Democrats in Texas have criticized the bill as discriminatory.
State Representative Gene Wu has contended that the legislation “takes away the rights of an entire class of people without due process and solely on the basis of their national origin.”
“National security is a serious issue, but if we are concerned about the actions of foreign governments, then legislation should only affect foreign governments and their agents,” she stated.
Texas is not the only U.S. state looking to prevent Chinese ownership of American farmland, with Florida also looking at implementing some sort of ban on Chinese entities purchasing land in the state.
“We want no CCP land purchases, and obviously, they are not going to do it directly,” Gov. Ron Desantis said regarding the issue. “They will have shell companies, so we’re going to have to have a system in place to scrutinize this.”
“But why would we want them buying farmland?” he added. “Why would we want the CCP to own land near a military base or own critical infrastructure?”
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