State May Bar China From Buying Farmland

The Indiana state legislature is considering a potential law that would bar Chinese nationals or companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party from purchasing farmland in the state. The bill also follows actions by a number of other states and Congress seeking to restrict foreign ownership of farmland within the United States.

Proposed House Bill 1183 would bar any company or individual tied to a “foreign adversary” from purchasing or leading farmland in Indiana. Furthermore, the state would also bar a “prohibited person” from owning property within a certain radius of a military facility.

A Republican on the Indiana state Senate’s Agriculture Committee said that the current bill may be the “most important” regarding state security.

So far the bill has wide bipartisan support, receiving the nod from each member of the State House of Representatives. It was unanimously approved by the state Senate Agriculture Committee earlier this week.

In addition to China, the bill would bar individuals from Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba from acquiring farmland. So far, a little more than 2% of the state’s farmland is currently owned by non-Americans.

The bill is especially important in the Hoosier State, as about 80% of its landmass is made up of farms.

The bill in Indiana reflects wider concerns about the amount of farmland being purchased by China or Chinese nationals.

Several states have taken action to prevent foreign nationals from purchasing land near military installations, such as a proposed plan near a nuclear missile base in North Dakota. The proposal was rejected after significant public disapproval.

Opposition to Chinese purchases of American property is especially strong in Congress, which has proposed multiple resolutions against the practice.

A bipartisan group of legislators in Washington proposed a similar federal ban, including Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

“Food security is national security, and I am proud that the Senate advanced my bill that will stand up against our foreign adversaries as they attempt to assert control over our agriculture industry,” Stefanik said.