Chinese Citizens Banned From Buying Land Where?

Photo by Jacob Mathers on Unsplash

( – On Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp enacted legislation that restricts the property acquisition capabilities of certain foreign nationals, particularly from China, within the state. The new legislation, designated SB420, aligns with actions taken by various other states and specifically prohibits any individual or entity acting on behalf of China from purchasing agricultural land or commercial property near military sites in Georgia.

The law has been criticized by some Democratic lawmakers as discriminatory. However, during a signing event in Valdosta, Governor Kemp defended the measure as essential for national security. He emphasized the importance of preventing foreign powers from influencing critical sectors such as agriculture, stating, “We cannot allow foreign adversaries to control something as critical to our survival as our food supply.”

Opponents of the law argue that it stirs xenophobia and adversely affects immigrant communities. Cynthia Choi, co-founder of the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate, which combats discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, accused Governor Kemp of promoting anti-Asian sentiment and anti-immigrant rhetoric by endorsing this legislation. Choi highlighted that such actions compromise the civil rights and constitutional guarantees of due process for all residents of Georgia.

The legislation not only targets agents from China but also extends to those from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Russia who are neither U.S. citizens nor legal residents. It stipulates that these agents cannot own farmland or commercial property within 10 miles of a military base in Georgia unless they have resided in the state for at least 10 months in the previous year.

Despite the law’s focus on several countries, discussions in the Georgia State Capitol predominantly revolved around the influence of China. The restriction includes companies from these nations but exempts residential properties.

Critics also foresee potential legal challenges to the law. Thong Phan, a representative from the Atlanta chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, predicted that the law might conflict with federal statutes and infringe on constitutional rights.

Similar restrictions have been adopted in other states such as Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas, reflecting a growing concern over foreign influence in critical areas. This legislative trend gained momentum following incidents like the suspected Chinese spy balloon over the U.S. and the acquisition of land near military facilities in North Dakota and Texas by entities linked to China.

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