Georgia Republican Rep. Austin Scott on Thursday warned about Chinese state-backed efforts to purchase farmland in the United States amid rising tensions with the oriental superpower over its economic practices and territorial claims in in the Pacific Rim.
Speaking on the “John Solomon Reports” podcast, Scott warned of the dangers of foreign ownership of the nation’s food supply and predicted bipartisan efforts to curb China’s purchases.
“[I[f you control the land, you control the food supply. And if you look at what China has done since the invasion of Ukraine, China, it says they’re not going to allow exports of rice and other products that they grow in their country,” he said. “And now, you know, they’re buying farmland inside the United States. This is something that we should have acted sooner than we have on this.”
“But we certainly don’t need our adversaries, buying up the cropland inside the United States and, outside of cropland, they do try to buy land close to our military bases,” he noted. “That’s, you know, obviously, for spying and for no purpose that is in the best interest of the United States. But we’re gonna have to reassess what is happening with these countries like Communist China buying land inside the United States.”
Scott told host John Solomon that the first step in addressing the issue is to “raise awareness at the national level.” He noted “the states can also restrict the ability to purchase property inside their states and some states have actually moved to restrict corporate ownership of farmland.”
The Georgia Republican went on to insist that Beijing’s efforts could only be nefarious in nature, saying “these people are not our friends, they are our enemies. And it is Communist China, it is a country that does not believe in human rights. They certainly don’t care about the United States of America or our citizens.”
“And so the issue of them buying land is is about their ability to control food supply,” he continued. “This is something we can’t allow to happen. And I do think that we will get to a bipartisan resolution on this.”
He then changed gears to address the Chinese goverment’s warnings against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s intended visit to Taiwan, asserting that Pelosi should go in spite of Beijing’s objections. “China does not get to tell the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives where they can and cannot fly unless it is inside the territory of Communist China,” he said.