The Heritage Foundation Releases Landmark Report on Communist China’s Surging Purchases of American Land

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The Heritage Foundation Releases Landmark Report on Communist China’s Surging Purchases of American Land

May 9, 2024 3 min read

WASHINGTON — Today, The Heritage Foundation released a new report titled “The Sale of U.S. Real Estate to Foreign Adversaries Threatens National Security.” The report explores the growing national security threats resulting from the Communist Chinese Party (CCP)’s purchases of U.S. real estate. As China and the United States enter a New Cold War, federal national security agencies and state governments must protect the nation from these emerging threats. The report’s findings are integrated into model legislation drafted by The Heritage Foundation below which can be an effective tool to help state governments refine ongoing efforts to prohibit Communist China’s acquisition of sensitive American land.  

Bryan Burack, Senior Policy Advisor for China and the Indo-Pacific in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation and author of the report stated:  

“China's ownership of American land is nontransparent and unscrutinized, and the federal government has failed to address potential threats even as Chinese ownership of U.S. real estate increases. The United States should be watching land and real estate transactions from our top adversary, not ignoring them. 


“Communist China seeks to undermine the United States in an effort to become the world's dominant power. The United States’ natural resources are one of our most important advantages over the CCP, and they need to be protected.


“State governments across the U.S. deserve to be commended for taking action where the federal government has not. I hope this report and model legislation can help empower their efforts with ground truth and options for legislation.”  

Below are some main takeaways from the report:  

  • Nearly half of all U.S. states have taken action to restrict foreign adversary real estate purchases in the last two years. They’re responding to genuine concerns and threats.  

  • The U.S. government has no ability to track Chinese real estate purchases and has no idea how much American real estate Chinese entities actually own.  

  • Even Chinese ownership of agricultural land, which is legally required to be disclosed to the Department of Agriculture, is understated by at least 50%.  

  • Chinese ownership of American real estate is increasing even as overall Chinese investment in the U.S. is decreasing.  

  • The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process has repeatedly failed to prevent threats from Chinese real estate purchases and has failed to reveal hidden Chinese ownership of agricultural land.   

Model legislation for state governments to combat Communist China’s land grabs of American land and real estate can be found here