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Letting China Purchase US Land Poses An Even Bigger National Security Risk Than You Think


BY: CHUCK DEVORE | JULY 27, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/27/letting-china-purchase-us-land-poses-an-even-bigger-national-security-risk-than-you-think/

China dictator Xi Jingping

Chinese entities keep purchasing plots of American land, presenting the Chinese military with a strategic advantage should conflict arise.

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Buyers from the People’s Republic of China purchased $6.1 billion in real estate last year, the most of any foreign buyer. Many of these purchases over the past few years have been of farmland or ranchland near U.S. military bases. 

Revelations from a groundbreaking exclusive CNN story published on July 23 about telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei installed in rural America suggest that Chinese land purchases could pose a severe national security threat as well.

CNN chronicles the Chinese government’s more than decade-long effort to establish a massive electronic intelligence and jamming capability in the U.S. adjacent to military installations and in Washington, D.C. Such a system could deliver a crippling electronic Pearl Harbor against American nuclear weapons systems and strategic communications vital to deterring and defeating a military surprise attack. The report details how China’s state-supported telecommunications giants, Huawei and ZTE, sold cell tower equipment and routers, often at a loss, to small, rural telecommunications providers in the heartland. Much of the made-in-China equipment was installed adjacent to the land-based leg of America’s nuclear triad — the 400 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) — in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Chinese telecommunications equipment presents four threats:

  • real-time communications intelligence,
  • real-time imagery intelligence,
  • offensive signals jamming,
  • and internet attacks.

In the age of software reprogrammable digital electronics, cell tower transmitters and receivers can be remotely reconfigured to listen to nearby military transmissions. Cell tower transmitters can be ordered to broadcast on certain frequencies used by the military, a tactic known as jamming. Similarly, cell towers’ connectivity to the internet could be used to overwhelm or degrade internet service in the early hours of a conflict. Many of the cell towers installed cameras in recent years to provide real-time traffic and weather conditions. Many of these cameras also monitor traffic around sensitive U.S. military installations. 

The FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into this threat was so sensitive that senior policymakers in the White House and Congress weren’t told until 2019. Soon after, the Federal Communications Commission issued a rule banning small telecoms from using certain kinds of Chinese manufactured equipment. In 2020, Congress appropriated $1.9 billion to rip out and replace about 24,000 pieces of Huawei and ZTE equipment in rural America. But none of it has yet been removed, and carriers insist that the federal government is $3 billion short of making them whole. Chinese telecommunications equipment remains a ticking timebomb, with resistance to its removal ranging from economic justifications to cries of xenophobia. 

How did we get here? The Chinese Communist Party practices strategic mercantilism, fostering key technologies with dual-use civilian and military applications while driving competing industries in other nations out of business. 

In the 1970s, the world’s two largest manufacturers of telecommunications gear were headquartered in the U.S.: Western Electric and ITT. Less than two dozen years ago, the two largest were U.S.-based Lucent and Canada’s Nortel. America saw its manufacturing dominance slip from producing one-third of the world’s telecom equipment in 1997 to barely more than one-tenth today. The People’s Republic of China played a key role in that decline. In 1979, China declared its telecommunications industry as strategic and stated that it required “absolute control.” In 1982, China imported 100 percent of its telecommunications equipment. By 2000, it was self-sufficient, importing no foreign equipment.

China’s path to dominance was simple: It leveraged Western demand for quarterly profits by telling foreign suppliers that they had to manufacture the products they sold to China in joint ventures with Chinese firms. China then built its supply chain to provide the inputs for these joint ventures as well as to steal the intellectual property with the goal of eventually being able to make high-end equipment. The result is that today, U.S. telecommunications service providers rely almost entirely on Chinese or European suppliers—with China routinely offering cheaper prices. 

The Importance of Real Estate

Voluntarily purchasing problematic Chinese equipment is one thing, but what happens when China controls real estate near military bases or important government facilities? 

An odd 2017 deal illustrates the importance of strategic real estate. That year, China offered to pay the entire $100 million cost to build the National China Garden on 12 acres at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. Concerns voiced by American counterintelligence officials resulted in the project being rejected just before construction was due to begin. Among their misgivings: The proposed pagoda on one of D.C.’s highest points would be built from materials shipped to the U.S. in diplomatic pouches, meaning no import inspections. 

This Chinese project attracted attention because it was on federal land in the nation’s capital. On the other hand, purchases of land in private transactions frequently escape attention until after the fact. 

The Fufeng Group intends to build a corn-milling plant on 300 acres it just purchased in Grand Forks, North Dakota, 16 miles from the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command base. 

But the $2.6 million land purchase is a good thing, some might argue. The Chinese firm plans to invest another $700 million in the area and generate 200 jobs—besides, America has a trade deficit with China, and those dollars must go somewhere, so why not see them reinvested in the U.S.? Further, it’s not like the Chinese can pack up American land and take it back to China with them. And, while some express concern about China owning agricultural land (Chinese interests now own 192,000 agricultural acres worth almost $2 billion), even if China were to decide to divert all production to China or cease agricultural operations, production could easily be restarted. 

The CCP Problem

But what most Americans don’t know is that every Chinese company with 50 or more employees must have a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official embedded in it. This CCP political officer is a looming presence in any firm hailing from a nation with no rule of law other than what CCP officials say it is. Thus, while the Fufeng Group likely has legitimate business purposes for investing in Grand Forks, so too does the CCP have strategic military purposes for using Fufeng’s North Dakota base for its own purposes. 

In April, U.S. Air Force Major Jeremy Fox wrote an unofficial memo highlighting concerns that the Grand Forks perch was well sited to intercept military communications between “unmanned air systems” and “space-based assets.” A USAF spokesman subsequently downplayed Major Fox’s concerns as his “personal assessment of potential vulnerabilities.”

Similar concerns have been expressed about the purchase of a 130,000-acre ranch on the border with Mexico near Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. The site is home to a wind turbine project that, due to its connection with the Texas grid, could be used to disrupt the state’s electric system. Further, the land—which features a large airstrip, as do many Texas ranches—could be used to coordinate activities with the transnational drug cartels across the border. 

In both cases, in North Dakota and in Texas—and on any other large agricultural or industrial facility—equipment might be positioned for purposes other than purely commercial reasons. And, since Chinese nationals and companies must obey the CCP, if they don’t cooperate, they risk losing everything up to and including their freedom and their lives. 

FBI Director Christopher Wray told CNN that the FBI opens a new China counterintelligence investigation every 12 hours with about 2,000 active investigations, excluding cyber theft, which is a criminal matter. 

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. James “Kimo” Fanell was the chief of intelligence for the Pacific Fleet and notes that large parcels of land or industrial sites could host signals intelligence or electronic warfare equipment such as jammers. He observed, “While our Customs inspectors are hardworking people, they’re overloaded, especially today with the Biden administration’s de facto open border policies. The idea that a strategic adversary could buy land near U.S. military bases does not pass the commonsense test.” He added, “We’ve got to do better as a nation to defend our citizens from these kinds of obvious threats.”

Given the sluggishness of the American response to the grave danger posed by communist China—a response slowed over fears of being accused of racism or by economic arguments made by well-funded lobbyists for Chinese interests or U.S. multinationals—it doesn’t take much to imagine the varied nature of attacks we might see on the homeland during the first few days of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. 

The time for talk is over; we need action.


Chuck DeVore is Chief National Initiatives Officer at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a former California legislator, special assistant for foreign affairs in the Reagan-era Pentagon, and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army (retired) Reserve. He’s the author of two books, “The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America,” and “China Attacks,” a novel.

Chinese Buying Land In US Communities All Over America


Our apathy regarding our freedoms will be our demise. Take a look at the following example.

Jerry Broussard

Three Star Line

http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/04/chinese-buying-land-us-communities-america/#KcgBSfsiVsu64mvH.99

Reported by Michael Snyder 12 hours ago

Has the United States ever experienced a time when a foreign nation has attempted to buy up so much of our land all at once? As you will read about in this article, the Chinese are on a real estate buying spree all over America. In fact, in some cases large chunks of land are actually being given to them. Yes, you read that correctly. China is on the way to becoming the dominant land owner in the entire country, and that is starting to alarm a lot of people. Do we really want a foreign superpower to physically own so much of our territory?

There are some that are playing down this threat by making a distinction between the Chinese government and Chinese corporations, but things work differently over in China than they do here. In China, the government is involved in everything. In fact, 43 percent of all corporate profits in China are produced by companies that the Chinese government controls. And all of the rest of the companies are very careful to follow the lead and direction of the Chinese government.

That is why what is going on in places such as Thomasville, Alabama is so alarming. Small communities such as Thomasville are so starved for jobs that they are willing to give land away for free to Chinese companies in order to entice them to build factories…

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that he will announce an economic development project in Thomasville, Ala., Monday morning.

That project is likely a copper tube plant to be built by Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group. A legal notice published Thursday indicates that the city of Thomasville and others intend to give land and other incentives to GD Copper USA, which state corporation records identify as a Florida-based subsidiary of Golden Dragon.

And in this particular case, we are not just talking about a small plot of land. We are talking about a 40 acre chunk of land worth 1.5 million dollars…

The legal notice indicated the city plans to give Golden Dragon a 40-acre site. Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day has said that land is in a city industrial park south of Thomasville High School. It includes a $1.5 million, 50,000-square-foot building that the city constructed in 2009 to attract businesses.

But in most cases, the Chinese actually have to spend money to acquire our real estate. And they are starting to make some really high profile acquisitions in some of our most expensive cities…

China Vanke and Tishman Speyer signed a deal for a $620 million luxury condo project in San Francisco this winter. In April, another deal for a cool $1.5 billion was inked in Oakland between Zarsion and Signature Development Group.

In June, several big deals in New York City went down. Zhang Xin, CEO of Soho China , joined forces with the wealthy Safra family (of Banco Safra fame) of Brazil to buy a stake in the General Motors Building in Midtown, The New York Times reported on June 25. Dalian Wanda Group, another Chinese developer, is planning to build a greenfield luxury hotel in Manhattan.

In other cases, the Chinese are gaining control over vast tracts of U.S. territory by buying up our large corporations.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods, they suddenly owned 460 large farms and became the top employer in dozens of communities all over the United States…

Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world. It has facilities in 26 U.S. states and it employs tens of thousands of Americans. It directly owns 460 farms and has contracts with approximately 2,100 others. But now a Chinese company has bought it for $4.7 billion, and that means that the Chinese will now be the most important employer in dozens of rural communities all over America.
And the Chinese seem to have a particular interest in economically-depressed areas of the country. Perhaps they feel that now is the time to gobble up companies and properties in such areas for bargain-basement prices. For instance, the following is from a CNBC article that detailed how the Chinese are aggressively “putting down roots in Detroit”…

Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.

Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.

Speaking of Michigan, one company known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” actually had plans to buy up 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan. The goal was to build an entire “China City” with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.

But that is nothing compared to the “China City” that was being planned for New York state. The following is a short excerpt from one of my previous articles…

The Chinese have made trillions of dollars flooding our shores with super cheap products, and now they are using some of that money to buy land and property all over America. For example, there is now a proposal to construct a multibillion dollar “China City” that would span approximately 600 acres in a remote area of New York state. This “China City” (that is actually what it would be called) would be located on Yankee Lake in Sullivan County, New York. The plans anticipate large numbers of Chinese businesses, plenty of homes for Chinese immigrants, a Chinese high school, a college, a casino and even a theme park. And the first 600 acres is only for “phase one” of the plan. Ultimately, the goal is for “China City” to cover more than 2,000 acres. Those promoting this plan say that it will be a great way for New Yorkers to learn to appreciate Chinese culture.

But of much greater concern is the huge wave of real estate purchases that are quietly happening all around us every single day.

The following is from a recent CNBC article entitled “Chinese buying up California housing“…

At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America’s largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. Lennar, Pulte, K Hovnanian, Ryland to name a few. It’s a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.

“They see the market here still has room for appreciation,” said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. “What’s driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.”
So what happens when we get to the point when the Chinese government and/or Chinese citizens own 10 percent of all the real estate in the entire country?

Will it be a problem then?

What about if we get to 20 percent or 30 percent?

At what point will we be forced to admit that we have a major problem on our hands?

Many of our leaders seem resigned to the fact that the future will be dominated by communist China.

For example, the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve recently stated that “attitudes in the U.S. are going to have to change” because America “will not permanently be the global leader”…

That’s according to Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis President James Bullard, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of a conference during a recent visit to Hong Kong.

“Attitudes in the U.S. are going to have to change, because the U.S. will not permanently be the global leader,” Mr. Bullard said. In fact, Bullard insists that it is inevitable that the U.S. will end up playing second fiddle to communist China…

In that case, “the U.S. would be playing a role to China similar to the role the U.K. plays to the U.S. today,” Mr. Bullard said. “People think it’s 50-75 years away but it’s probably only 25 or 20 years away, something like that.”
And this is one of the guys that is running the U.S. economy?

There is more than one way to dominate your enemy, and the Chinese understand this.

Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea what is happening.

What about you?

What do you think about all this?

About Michael Snyder

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years. Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael and his wife, Meranda, believe that a great awakening is coming and are working hard to help bring renewal to America. Michael is also the author of the book, “The Beginning Of The End”.

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