- The Washington Times - Friday, February 10, 2023

Beijing says proposals in some U.S. states to ban Chinese citizens from buying property within their borders would violate the principles of market economics.

The communist government criticized proposed bans in Texas, Florida and Arkansas as the U.S. and China spar over the Chinese spy balloon that floated over the continental U.S. 

A North Dakota city recently rejected a Chinese-owned company’s plan to build a corn mill near an American military base, and South Dakota lawmakers filed a bill that would ban the foreign acquisition of agricultural land.

“China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial and win-win in nature,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Friday in a translated version of her remarks. “To overstretch the concept of national security and politicize economic, trade and investment issues runs counter to the principles of market economy and international trade rules, which undercuts international confidence in the U.S. market environment.”

Asian-American advocates have criticized the proposed bans, saying they feed into anti-Chinese stigma and hearken back to discriminatory laws from the early 1900s.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has signaled he is open to a ban on Chinese purchases, making his state a bellwether for such proposals, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signaled he is worried about foreign buys near sensitive sites.

“If you look at the Chinese Communist Party, they’ve been very active throughout the Western Hemisphere in gobbling up land,” Mr. DeSantis, a possible Republican presidential contender, said last month. “That is not in the best interests of Florida to have the Chinese Communist Party owning farmland, owning land close to military bases.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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