Wednesday 3 January 2024

Missouri Governor Blocks Chinese Entities From Buying Land Near Military Bases

 Governor Mike Parson (R-MO) issued an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting the purchase of agricultural land near military facilities in Missouri by foreign entities from countries designated as American adversaries.

The order will block entities from China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela from purchasing land within a 10-mile radius of military facilities in the state. The move comes as lawmakers across the country raise national security concerns over the purchase of land, some near military bases, across the U.S. by Chinese companies.  

“With heightened concerns regarding ownership of Missouri farm land 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,” Parson said. “When it comes to China and other foreign adversaries, we must take commonsense precautions that protect Missourians and our security resources.”

Other states, like Arkansas and Florida, have enacted similar measures as concerns over China remain high. About 42,596 acres of farmland is currently owned by Chinese entities in Missouri. 

“I further declare that no Missouri agricultural land shall be acquired or owned by an alien or foreign business who is a citizen, resident, or incorporated under the laws of a foreign adversary,” Parson’s executive order, which does not impact existing land owners, says. 

Missouri is home to several major military facilities, including Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Whiteman Air Force Base, and Fort Leonard Wood. Any foreign purchase of land will require approval from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. 


Parson noted that he still wanted the state to have strong business ties to countries like Sweden, Germany, and Japan. 

“Missouri must remain open for business to our allies,” Parson added. “As such, we believe this order, with the authority we have, sufficiently protects Missouri’s security interests from potential bad actors while not punishing our allies for being good economic partners or upstanding individuals fleeing oppression and coming to our nation legally in search of a better life.”

Foreign land ownership was largely banned in Missouri until 2013 when the Republican legislature overrode the veto of then-Democratic Governor Jay Nixon of a bill that allowed foreign ownership of up to 1% of Missouri farmland. Republican lawmakers in the state have now said that they support Parson’s executive order and may put forward similar legislation during the upcoming session. 

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