FIRST ON FOX: Seventeen governors are calling on federal leaders, including President Biden, to prevent foreign adversaries like China from buying U.S. land, Fox News Digital has learned.
Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leading a letter, with 16 of her fellow GOP governors, to Biden, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and congressional leaders in both chambers to tackle the growing issue of China buying American land, including farmland.
“Numerous governors and state legislatures have taken action to protect our citizens from the imminent national security threat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” the governors wrote.
“But national security demands a national response from national leaders,” they continued. “The responsibility is now with you – follow the lead of our States and prevent CCP amassing of American lands.”
The governors noted that it “is no secret the communist regime in China is acquiring swaths of real property throughout the United States” and that very recently, a subsidiary of a Chinese-controlled company “bought two hundred and seventy acres of land in Green Charter Township, Michigan, not far from the Camp Grayling National Guard facility.”
“Unfortunately, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States declined to block – or even review – this plainly alarming transaction,” the governors wrote.
The Republican state executives said that “states have stepped into the breach to protect this country’s most valued resource” – the American people – while the Biden administration “has failed to address the threat at hand.”
The leaders also noted that “a bipartisan group of eleven states” enacted “foreign ownership laws” and that Arkansas “became the first state in the country to act under such a law” by ordering Syngenta Seeds – an agricultural company owned by the China National Chemical Corporation, or ChemChina – to divest 160 acres of land in the Diamond State.
“For too long, we have allowed dangerous and adversarial governments to infiltrate our country. Our States will tolerate such allowances no longer. The Biden Administration must reckon with the fact that such entities are plain threats to our national security, our farmers, and our citizenry.”
“This is especially true since the CCP enacted a law in 2017 requiring Chinese citizens abroad to collaborate with Chinese security officials on intelligence work – no questions asked,” the governors warned.
The governors said they “are heartened to see some in Congress advance legislation which would mitigate this threat” and encouraged “Congressional action to codify our stance into federal law.”
The Republicans also urged the Biden administration “to use all available tools to prevent the continued acquisition of American lands by adversarial foreign governments” until Congress passes legislation addressing the growing issue.
“This is not about where anyone is from. Our states welcome Chinese Americans and anyone else who has escaped foreign oppression for American freedom,” the governors wrote. “This is about where your loyalties lie.”
“We simply cannot trust those who pledge allegiance to a hostile foreign power,” the governors warned.
The letter was sent to Biden and Yellen, as well as House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House, Treasury and the offices of Johnson, Jeffries, Schumer and McConnell for comment.
Joining Sanders on the letter are Republican Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Governor-elect Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Jim Pillen of Nebraska, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Greg Abbott of Texas, Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, Jim Justice of West Virginia, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.
The governors’ letter comes as Americans’ attitudes toward China sour.
The number of Americans who view China as an “enemy” of the U.S. is growing, while a majority support a buildup of American military personnel to deter a potential invasion of Taiwan, the annual Reagan National Defense Survey has found.
According to the survey, 77% of Americans view China as an enemy, while just 15% view the nation as an ally. That number is a drastic change from 2018, when the survey found 38% of Americans viewed China as an ally, and 55% as an enemy.
A majority of Americans (51%) also view China as the greatest threat facing the nation, up from 43% last year and 21% in 2018. Meanwhile, the number of those viewing Russia as the greatest threat is falling, with just 24% viewing the nation as such, down from 31% last year following its invasion of Ukraine.
Fox News Digital’s Brandon Gillespie contributed reporting.