GOP Governor To Block Chinese Land Purchases

( Republican Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota said she’s going to continue pushing for a bill that would prohibit the Chinese Communist Party or any of its subsidiaries from purchasing land in her state that’s dedicated to agriculture.

This comes as some special interest groups have been fighting against the bill.

The bill in question is being co-sponsored by state Senator Erin Tobin as well as state Representative Gary Cammack. If passed, it would create a new group called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States-South Dakota.

The group would investigate any proposed purchase of agricultural land in South Dakota by a foreign interest. After doing so, the group would then recommend to Noem directly whether to deny or approve the purchase.

One of the groups that’s concerned about the plan is the South Dakota Association of Cooperatives. The group sent an email directly to the governor’s office saying “agricultural groups” reviewed the latest version of the bill, and they “are deeply concerned about the legality and constitutionality of the proposal.”

Despite that, Noem said that the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses in South Dakota is just too great. As she said while appearing on the Breitbart News Saturday program on SiriusXM:

“I think all of us can agree as Americans that China shouldn’t be buying up land in the United States. They are an enemy.

“They are an evil government built on Communism and taking away freedom. That isn’t something we should allow to have a presence here in our great country.”

The South Dakota governor said China has recently been trying to buy up land near various Air Force bases in the United States. Ellsworth Air Force Base, located in South Dakota’s Rapid City, will soon host the B-21 bomber.

As such, the governor said she’s making a strong effort to ensure China won’t be able to acquire land in South Dakota.

She explained:

“This is an issue that came up months ago when we saw a land purchase in North Dakota, our neighbors to the north, where a Chinese entity bought up land next to their Air Force Base, saying they were going to build a corn plant, but there wasn’t enough corn grown in that area to sustain a facility like that, and it came under question.

“I think we all agree that we shouldn’t allow our enemies to have a presence, especially close to our national security infrastructure.”

In December, Noem wrote Congress a letter asking that new legislation be passed that would support local and state governments by either divesting assets or prohibiting any assets from China from being invested.

She referred to two previous pieces of federal legislation that Congress has passed — the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007 as well as the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010.

As Noem wrote in her letter:

“If Congress were to take this step, it would send a clear sign to China that their activities are not supported by the United States of America.”