A member of the Chinese Communist Party secretly bought 198,000 acres of U.S. farmland, with no mention of the purchase in the mainstream media.
According to Land Report magazine, Chen Tianqiao, a co-founder of Shanda Interactive Entertainment, bought the American farmland for $85 million in 2015.
“In 2015, Tianqiao Chen acquired nearly 200,000 acres of former Crown Pacific timberlands in Oregon from Fidelity National Financial Ventures for $85 million ($430 per acre),” the magazine said.
“Chen did so via the investment vehicle Whitefish Cascade Forest Resources LLC. In December 2023, Oregon tax records revealed that the 198,000-acre block was currently owned by Shanda Asset Management LLC.”
However, the Daily Mail noted that Chen’s purchase did not show up on government records of land ownership by foreign investors.
The Department of Agriculture estimated that Chinese entities owned around 400,000 acres of U.S. farmland, which is a whopping $2 billion worth of land.
That number alarmed lawmakers after reports that purchases have dramatically increased over the past decade.
However, the 400,000-acre estimate was likely far lower than the actual number.
For instance, there is a paper-based reporting system for foreign-owned land; if someone owns less than 10 acres, it goes under the radar.
“Right now, we don’t know the full extent of the risk at hand,” Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin (W.I.) said.
“Outdated reporting systems and a lack of auditing at both the state and federal level leave us with incomplete information and many questions.”
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) accused the Biden administration of dropping the ball regarding foreign adversaries eating up American farmland.
“Communist China is purchasing U.S. agricultural land to subvert our sovereignty, undermine our agriculture industry, encroach on our military installations, and upend America’s rural communities,” she said.
Some politicians are also expressing concern over Chinese nationals trying to cross our southern border.
According to estimates, some 31,000 Chinese nations were stopped at the border, CNN reported.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data reported that the U.S. would only see around 1,500 Chinese nationals in a given year over the last decade.
However, some Chinese nationals argue they want to come to the U.S. to escape the oppression of the Chinese Communist Party.