China buys farmland near 19 US military bases, posing potential threat

A recent report by the New York Post has shed light on the concerning trend of Chinese entities buying up farmland in close proximity to US military installations. The Post identified 19 military bases across the country that are situated near land owned by Chinese entities, raising fears of potential espionage or sabotage.

Some of the strategically important military bases include Fort Liberty in North Carolina, Fort Cavazos in Texas, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, and MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Retired United States Air Force Brigadier General Robert S. Spalding III expressed concern over the proximity of these locations to strategic military sites, stating that the owners of the land could potentially set up intelligence collection sites or influence local politics.

Under the guise of farming, Chinese landowners could potentially set up surveillance sites, install tracking technology, or fly drones over military bases to gather intelligence. A report from the Wall Street Journal highlighted multiple instances of Chinese intruders attempting to breach military facilities in recent years.

The Department of Homeland Security has also warned of the threat posed by Chinese spies slipping over the US Southern border. Former contractor for private military contractor Blackwater, Morgan Lerette, emphasized the potential for Chinese interests to gather information on US military capabilities and movements through the acquisition of farmland.

While Chinese holdings currently represent less than one percent of foreign-owned agricultural land in the US, the proximity of these land acquisitions to critical military installations has raised concerns among critics. The Biden administration recently barred a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining firm from owning land in Wyoming near a military base, citing national security risks.

The heightened investigations by the Defense Department, FBI, and other agencies on potential espionage attempts by Chinese operatives reflect the growing tensions between the US and China. The FBI has previously warned of a broad campaign of theft and malign influence by the Chinese government. With incidents of Chinese nationals attempting to breach military installations and engage in surveillance activities, the threat posed by Chinese interests buying up US farmland next to military bases remains a topic of national security concern.


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