Revealed: Billionaire Chinese Communist Party official secretly bought 200,000 acres of Oregon farmland eight years ago

OREGON- In 2015, Tianqiao Chen, a billionaire who also happens to be a member of the Chinese Communist Party, purchased nearly 200,000 acres of farmland in Oregon, a purchase that, for unknown reasons, was kept secret for the ensuing eight years. With the purchase, Chen became the second-largest farmland owner in the United States, the New York Post reports. 

According to Land Report magazine, Chen, the co-founder of Shanda Interactive Entertainment, paid $85 million for the farmland, which comes out to about $430 an acre. 

“In 2015, Tianqiao Chen acquired nearly 200,000 acres of Crown Pacific timberlands in Oregon from Fidelity National Financial Ventures for $85 million ($430 per acre),” the magazine said. “Chen did so via the investment vehicle Whitefish Cascade Forest Resources LLC. In December 2023, Oregon tax records revealed that Shanda Asset Management LLC currently owned the 198,000 acre block.” 

The Daily Mail reported that for some reason, Chen’s purchase doesn’t show up in government records of land ownership by foreign investors.

It was revealed last October by the Department of Agriculture that Chinese assets owned nearly 400,000 of American farmland, which holds a value of almost $2 billion. Despite being only a fraction of foreign-owned farmland, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are concerned. China’s ownership stake in US farmland has dramatically increased over the past decade, and the relationship between the two countries has deteriorated. 

That number, however, is believed to be far short of the actual number since records of foreign-based land ownership are kept using paper records. Furthermore, if someone owns less than 10 acres, it doesn’t need to be reported, nor does someone who leases land. 

According to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), she said the Biden administration had “dropped the ball” on protecting US agricultural land from being grabbed by “foreign adversaries,” the New York Post reported. 

“Communist China is purchasing US agricultural land to subvert our sovereignty, undermine our agriculture industry, encroach on our military installations, and upend America’s rural communities,” Stefanik continued. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) criticized the antiquated reporting systems and lack of audits. 

“Right now, we don’t know the full extent of the risk at hand,” Baldwin said. “Outdated reporting systems and a lack of auditing at both the state and federal level leave us with incomplete information and many questions.” 

Chen’s land purchase came to light last week after the State of Oregon named one of his companies as the property owner, the Daily Caller reported. 

Chen also owns other properties in the United States, including a $39 million Manhattan townhouse and a $26 million Los Angeles estate. Chen joined the Chinese Communist Party at the age of 18 and has since risen through the executive ranks of the party. 

In 2022, Stefanik and other members of Congress wrote the US Department of Agriculture, asking that agency to increase their focus on foreign ownership of US farmland, concerned about food security. 

“Food security is national security,” she wrote. 

Sen. John Tester (D-Montana), a farmer, demanded last week that Congress protect US land security. 

“While we learn about the specifics around this unfolding situation, it highlights the need for Congress to do more to protect American agricultural society,” he said in a statement.  

The Post said Stefanik was one of some bipartisan legislators who wrote to Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, protesting the Biden administration’s lax oversight of foreign land purchases. 

The revelation of Chen’s purchase comes over increasing concern of military-aged Chinese men illegally crossing into the United States at the southern border, estimated in the tens of thousands. A CNN report put the number at 31,000 who were stopped by Customs and Border Protection at the southern border in the first 11 months of 2023. This number omits “gotaways.” 

CBP data said that in a typical year, the US would only see about 1,500 Chinese nationals per year going back over the previous decade, which means there has been a 2,000% increase over the average year. 

Most of the Chinese nationals claim they’re coming to the US to “escape the oppressive communist regime.” NewsNation reported last month, capturing footage of Chinese nationals, overwhelmingly single adult males, trying to enter the US. 

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Laurence

This should be prohibited! How much property in China are Americans allowed to buy? None! And just how many of those Chinese "refugees" are actually spies?

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