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  • JAMES KING, MPA

Lawmakers Urge Restrictions On Foreign Land Ownership Near Military Bases


Concerns over Chinese land acquisitions near U.S. military bases have intensified, prompting calls for legislative action. Chinese companies have been purchasing farmland close to key military installations across the country, raising fears about potential espionage activities.


Reports indicate that these land acquisitions have occurred near 19 military bases, including Fort Liberty in North Carolina, Fort Cavazos in Texas, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, and MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. The strategic locations of these purchases have heightened national security concerns.


Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert S. Spalding III voiced his alarm, saying, “It is alarming we do not have laws on the books that would prevent the Chinese from buying property in the U.S.” The proximity of these land purchases to critical military sites raises the possibility of surveillance operations under the guise of farming.


Potential espionage activities could include establishing observation posts, installing tracking devices, using radar and infrared technology to monitor military activities, or deploying drones to gather intelligence. The threat is not hypothetical; there have been numerous incidents of Chinese nationals attempting to breach U.S. military facilities.


A Wall Street Journal report from September 2023 revealed that Chinese intruders have attempted to infiltrate U.S. military facilities over 100 times in recent years. Incidents include unauthorized entries at a missile range in New Mexico and scuba divers spotted near a government rocket launch site in Florida.

The FBI has labeled the Chinese government’s actions as a “grave threat.” In April, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that Chinese hackers have infiltrated critical U.S. infrastructure and could cause significant damage at a moment’s notice. He emphasized that these threats have the potential to “physically wreak havoc” on American soil.


Lawmakers and security experts are now urging Congress to enact legislation to restrict foreign ownership of land near sensitive military installations. They argue that stricter regulations are essential to protect national security and prevent potential espionage by foreign adversaries. As national security concerns grow, the pressure on lawmakers to act continues to mount.

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