Chinese Farmland Purchases Near US Military Bases Raise Security Alarms

The recent acquisitions of farmland by Chinese entities near crucial U.S. military bases have triggered serious national security concerns. Chinese companies have been purchasing land close to 19 military installations across the country, sparking fears of potential espionage or sabotage.

These purchases include areas near strategic bases like Fort Liberty in North Carolina, Fort Cavazos in Texas, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, and MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. The New York Post reported these acquisitions, highlighting the growing anxiety over foreign ownership of land near sensitive military sites.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert S. Spalding III expressed his alarm, stating, “It is alarming we do not have laws on the books that would prevent the Chinese from buying property in the U.S.” The proximity of these land purchases raises the possibility of surveillance operations disguised as agricultural activities.

Potential espionage activities could include setting up observation posts, installing tracking devices, using radar and infrared technology to monitor military movements, or deploying drones for intelligence gathering. These concerns are not merely speculative; there have been multiple instances of Chinese nationals attempting to breach U.S. military facilities.

A Wall Street Journal report from September 2023 disclosed over 100 attempts by Chinese intruders to infiltrate U.S. military sites in recent years. Incidents have included unauthorized entries at a missile range in New Mexico and scuba divers near a government rocket launch site in Florida.

The FBI has termed the Chinese government’s actions as a “grave threat.” FBI Director Christopher Wray warned in April that Chinese hackers have penetrated critical U.S. infrastructure, with the capability to cause significant damage on short notice. He emphasized that these threats have the potential to “physically wreak havoc” on American soil.

As national security concerns mount, there are growing calls for legislative action to restrict foreign ownership of land near sensitive military installations. Lawmakers and security experts argue that stricter regulations are essential to safeguard national security and prevent potential espionage by foreign adversaries.

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