Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R-MO) Wednesday issued an executive order banning individuals from “foreign adversaries” from owning farms within 10 miles of a military installation.
“With heightened concerns regarding ownership of Missouri farmland by foreign adversaries, especially China, we are signing this order to safeguard our military and intelligence assets, prevent security threats to our state, and give Missourians greater peace of mind,” Governor Parson said in a statement. “When it comes to China and other foreign adversaries, we must take commonsense precautions that protect Missourians and our security resources.”
Parson did not specify what danger a farmer could pose. His move is part of a larger trend nationwide of at least 12 states implementing similar measures, according to the Committee of 100, a non-profit of 100 Chinese American leaders promoting greater friendship between the U.S. and China.
“We have not seen where these type of restrictions are necessary,” said Cindy Tsai, interim Committee of 100 president. “We have not seen cases where there have been overwhelming threats of land ownership relating to national security threat. So for example, in the number, the percentage of Chinese entities or individuals owning land in the US has not increased over the last few years.”
According to Parson’s own statement, Missouri already restricts the foreign ownership of farmland to one percent of the total agricultural land across the state.
His new order adds new restrictions, including requiring the prior approval from the Missouri Department of Agriculture before any foreign purchase and certain disclosures by the purchaser.
Newsweek reports the move comes amidst heightened security concerns such as the Chinese Spy Balloon.
That incident continues to be brought up in media accounts despite the fact that as far back as September 2023 Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged to CBS News that the balloon wasn’t spying.
“The intelligence community, their assessment – and it’s a high-confidence assessment – [is] that there was no intelligence collection by that balloon,” he said.
Most believe that the balloon had simply been blown off course by the weather.
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