Hinson calls for barring China from owning U.S. farmland

WASHINGTON — The four Iowa Republicans serving in the U.S. House have voted to create a new committee focused on China. It passed with the support of all Republicans and nearly 70 percent of the Democrats in the House.

“The beginning of our efforts to hold China accountable for their wide range of malicious activity and, of course, to protect our national security,” second district Congresswoman Ashley Hinson of Marion says. “These are efforts that I believe will continue to be bipartisan this congress.”

Hinson says the House Select Committee on China should move to forbid Chinese citizens and companies from buying American farmland. Iowa law forbids foreign ownership of agricultural land, but according to the USDA, China owns about 190,000 acres of farm ground in the United States.

“China poses the largest threat our national and global security,” Hinson says, “from posturing against Taiwan to buying up U.S. farmland at alarming rates.”

The governor of North Dakota has asked federal officials to review a Chinese food company’s recent purchase of 300 acres of land in his state. The property is about 12 miles from the Grand Forks U.S. Air Force Base. Hinson says the federal government needs to track the purchase of land around U.S. military installations and other key infrastructure.

“We don’t want to completely block international land ownership. That’s not what we want to see happen,” Hinson says. “We have a lot of international investment in Iowa, in our district, but we need to be very clear that the Chinese Communist Party is the greatest threat to this country and we cannot allow them to buy another acre.”

Hinson made her comments this morning during a telephone news conference with Iowa reporters. She expressed reservations about GOP colleague George Santos, the New York congressman who admits he has lied about his past, including where he’s worked and his family background.

“I am very troubled by the allegations against Mr. Santos,” Hinson said. “I do think we need to let the ethics investigation play out.”

Two Democratic congressmen from New York filed an ethics complaint against Santos this week, questioning whether he lied on the financial disclosures he filed with the House.