- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 24, 2022

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) connections to foreign companies and individuals buying up residential property and farmland in the U.S.

“I don’t think they should be able to do it,” the governor told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “I think the problem is these companies have ties to the CCP, and it’s not always apparent on the face of whatever a company is doing, but I think it’s a huge problem.” 

He lauded Florida’s ban on the China-funded Confucius Institute, which backs cultural centers on college campuses that have drawn criticism from both liberals and conservatives.

He also supports looking to limit government pension investments in funds that may have ties to the CCP.

China’s growing investments in the U.S have some observers on alert.

A report from the National Association of Realtors said that Chinese buyers spent over $6 billion on residential properties in 2021 — the most of any foreign buyers. 

SEE ALSO: Biden administration preps Taiwan for Chinese attack after Ukraine invasion

Earlier this month a Chinese company, the Fufeng Group, purchased a large tract of farmland in North Dakota. 

CNBC reported that the $2.6 million purchase created security concerns given the farmland’s proximity to the Grand Forks Air Force Base, where some of the nation’s most sensitive military drone technology is housed.

When a Chinese billionaire with ties to the CCP gradually acquired 140,000 acres of land for a windmill farm in Val Verde County, Texas, multiple outlets reported that it raised concerns because of how close the project was to Laughlin Air Force Base. 

State lawmakers shut down the wind farm when it passed legislation in 2021 that “prohibits companies from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from investing in projects connected to Texas’s critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid,” according to a news release from environmental group Devils River Conservancy, who first put the Chinese links to the wind farm on political radars.    

Rep. Mike Waltz, Florida Republican, told Fox News last week that Chinese buyers are also purchasing major pork and chicken producers.

“But my question is, why isn’t the Committee on Foreign Investment in the Department of Justice and across the Biden administration, why aren’t they taking a closer look at this,” he told the network on July 19.

SEE ALSO: Western nations grow alarmed at China’s increasing threats

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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