According to Sen. James Lankford, foreign entities currently own over 1 million acres of farmland in Oklahoma, with countries such as China utilizing the land for drug production to the fullest extent, Fox Business reported.
"These are Chinese criminal organizations that are moving in, and you're not going to move in and move that much money without some awareness of the Chinese Communist Party and setting up. Just in the last year, China has doubled the number of acres that it has in the United States. They're buying up hundreds of thousands of acres across the country, and they're moving in criminal operations into the country," he explained in an interview with the network's Maria Bartiromo.
Following the shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon that flew from Alaska to South Carolina, foreign acquisitions of U.S. farmland have become a highly contentious issue. The multi-day flight of the surveillance aircraft across the country has reignited concerns among experts and lawmakers regarding China's ongoing attempts to purchase land throughout the U.S. Some have noted a suspected pattern of espionage activities occurring in proximity to American military installations, the network reported.
Lankford is advocating for legislation to address the "gap in federal law" that allows foreign entities to purchase agricultural land easily. He is also urging his colleagues in Congress to remain vigilant regarding China's ongoing efforts to acquire land within the United States.
"What are we doing as a country to stop communist China from moving forward on all of these goals to overtake the United States as the number one superpower?" Bartiromo asked Lankford Wednesday morning.
Lankford has reassured the American public that the U.S. government is working on fixing the issue "piece by piece."
"We've got to be able to do our military work. We've got to make sure that we have what's called 'hard power' on this, to be able to make it very clear that we are the United States of America, and we're none to be trifled with," he said.
"The second thing that we've got to do is deal with economic issues. Every corporation in America needs to look at the business that it's doing currently with China. If their supply chain comes from China to the United States, know that the communist nation will, at some point, cut that off. And so they need to be attentive to that in all of their investment strategies and all of their logistics tail — that if they have China anywhere in that logistics tail, that's a major problem," he noted further.
"We've got to take world leadership back again, and to be able to say we're the United States in foreign policy and in economic power," he urged.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, Chinese companies currently own less than 1% of foreign-held acres of US farmland, which amounts to 383,935 acres. However, this has still raised concerns among some members of Congress who are looking into ways of preventing Chinese ownership in US agriculture.
On Tuesday, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall disclosed the most alarming event he has witnessed during his 50-year career, expressing concern over China's growth of their nuclear weaponry, which he finds to be equally alarming as the former Soviet Union's drastic expansion of their nuclear arsenal during the Cold War.
During a hearing on Tuesday before the House Appropriations Committee, Kendall, a veteran of 50 years in U.S. military and defense, stated that China’s emergence as a top-level nuclear power is a significant concern.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything more disturbing in my career than the Chinese ongoing expansion of their nuclear force,” Kendall told the panel.
“For decades, they were quite comfortable with an arsenal of a few hundred nuclear weapons, which was fairly clearly a second-strike capability to act as a deterrent,” Kendall continued, according to Fox News. “That expansion that they’re undertaking puts us into a new world that we’ve never lived in before, where you have three powers — three great powers, essentially — with large arsenals of nuclear weapons.”