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Indiana moves to ban China from purchasing or leasing farmland, land near military bases
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Indiana moves to ban China from purchasing or leasing farmland, land near military bases

Indiana lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing to prohibit China from purchasing or leasing farmland, WTHR reported Monday.

House Bill 1183 seeks to ban any "foreign adversary" or "prohibited person" from owning or leasing agricultural land in Indiana. Foreign adversaries are defined as citizens or entities from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.

If passed, the legislation would also prevent the owning or leasing of land near military bases, armories, and maintenance facilities. Additionally, land purchasers would need to submit an affidavit confirming that they are not connected to the prohibited countries.

The legislation carves out exceptions for students from foreign adversarial countries who attend an Indiana university and are seeking to rent an apartment.

State Rep. Kendell Culp (R), the bill's author, stated, "Indiana is one of the top producing agricultural states in the country, and we need to protect our critical farmland and our control over our food supply."

Culp noted that foreign entities own more than 438,000 acres of land in Indiana as of 2022. He expressed concerns regarding food security and national agricultural security.

"If we lose a fraction, even a fraction, of our food production, this quickly would become a national security issue," Culp remarked.

According to a recent United States Department of Agriculture report, Chinese buyers own 384,235 acres of land in America.

The bill previously received unanimous bipartisan support when it passed through the House.

Republican Senator Jean Leising said, "This might be the most important bill we have in regards to securing all of the state of Indiana."

Brian Cavanaugh, a national security expert, warned the Senate's Agriculture Committee on Monday that "China represents the greatest threat to our national security in this generation," WTHR reported.

When Leising told Cavanaugh that a Chinese firm wanted to build a grain processing facility near the intersection of two railroads, he responded, "That is certainly not a mistake."

"They do their homework, and they understand what would be the greatest benefit to a community to give them the access they desire," Cavanaugh explained.

American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana executive director Chris Daley warned that the bill would punish foreign nationals who are living in the United States legally.

"You are telling them they are no longer welcome here except as employees of someone else. They cannot participate as owners of businesses if that includes owning or renting a storefront," Daly said. "What about renewing a lease? What about when a lease changes? Are those folks going to be caught up?"

The Senate's Agriculture Committee approved the legislation on Monday. If passed, the bill will go into effect on July 1, and Indiana will join 24 other states that have approved similar laws restricting foreign adversaries from acquiring agricultural land.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →