John Kirby, the White House National Security Council coordinator for communications, was asked Wednesday about the possibility of a threat from China quietly buying upon land near U.S. military bases.
The reporter asking the question noted that it is a national security issue, but Kirby claimed that he is not the right person to ask about that, stating that it is “out of my swim lane,” and repeatedly attempting to pivot to “homeownership in the U.S.”
If the National Security Council coordinator for communications isn’t the right person to ask about national security, then who is?
The subject of China acquiring land in the U.S. was in the headlines again last week when an editorial in the Wall Street Journal asked “What is Beijing up to?”
The piece noted that “U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland leapt more than 20-fold in a decade, from $81 million in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2020.”
Two months ago, a Chinese government-linked company bought 370 acres of land on the doorstep of a crucial military drone base in North Dakota, the latest in a string of such purchases.
Republicans in the Senate have formally asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to “conduct a review of Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group’s recent purchase.”
The senators noted that the fact the land is so close to the military base “led to concern that Fufeng operations could provide cover for PRC surveillance or interference with the missions located at that installation, given Fufeng Group’s reported ties to the Chinese Communist Party.”
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