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    Indiana pushes bill to ban China, other ‘foreign adversaries’ from buying farmland

    By Katherine Donlevy,

    2024-02-28

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2MuJS1_0rZSst3i00

    Indiana lawmakers are pushing a bill to prevent foreign adversaries from buying up precious farmland — after a damning report showed Chinese investors own nearly 385,000 acres of US land.

    Proposed House Bill 1183 would bar any citizen of or entity connected to a “foreign adversary” from purchasing or leasing agricultural land in the state, which the proposal legislation’s author said poses a national security issue.

    The bill would also set up strict parameters for how close to a military facility a “prohibited person” could own property.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4LgfNw_0rZSst3i00
    The bill would prevent nationals form six foreign countries from buying or leasing farmland in Indiana. HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    “This might be the most important bill we have in regards to securing all of the state of Indiana,” said Republican state Sen. Jean Leising, who sits on the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, according to WTHR.

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    The bill — which was proposed by Rep. Kendell Culp in January — flew through the state House of Representatives earlier this month with unanimous support from both Democrats and Republicans, and was approved on both sides of the aisle by the Senate’s Agriculture Committee Monday.

    The Indiana bill defers to the US Commerce Department’s list of adversaries, which includes Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and China.

    According to Culp, roughly 2.2% of Indiana’s land is owned by foreign countries.

    More than 80 percent of Indiana’s 36,420 square miles is devoted to farms and forests, state Department of Agriculture data shows.

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    A shocking report by the US Department of Agriculture painted an even more shocking picture: Foreign countries own roughly 40 million acres of the United States’ 1.3 billion acres of farmland.

    China alone claims 384,235 acres of American soil, with a single Chinese billionaire owning more than half the property.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3T6lZy_0rZSst3i00
    Sen. Jean Leising called the legislation the “most important bill we have in regards to securing all of the state of Indiana.” Jean Leising Twitter

    “Many national security experts, including myself, believe China represents the greatest threat to our national security in this generation,” national security expert Brian Kavenaugh testified before the Senate committee.

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

    The proposed legislation would ban “prohibited persons” or companies from buying or leasing Indiana farmland, mineral or water rights.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0v98k8_0rZSst3i00
    The law would affect nationals and companies from Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and, most importantly, China. UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    It would also prevent such entities from acquiring property within 10 miles of an armory or military maintenance facility or within 50 miles of a military base, an addition that was included by the Senate committee.

    To enforce the rules — which would go into effect July 1 — land purchasers will need to affirm in an affidavit that they are not connected to any of the prohibited countries.

    There is an exemption for students from foreign countries attending university in Indiana, which allows them to rent property while attending classes.

    If passed, Indiana would join 24 other states, including Montana, Virginia and Idaho, that have passed laws restricting Chinese nationals from buying property.

    For top headlines, breaking news and more, visit nypost.com.

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