Republican Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri signed an executive order this week that will ban foreign nationals or companies associated with China or Russia from purchasing land in his state near military bases.
Executive Order 24-01 was signed on Tuesday and outlines who now can purchase land within 10 miles of a military facility.
In the order, the governor cited his and other Missouri lawmakers’ desire to protect the state and country from espionage or other activities.
The order noted the U.S. government has determined some “foreign governments or foreign non-government persons have engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instance of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States or security and safety of United States persons.”
The order adds that the “protection of military and intelligence assets within the state’s borders” is “crucial to the security of the state and nation.”
Moving forward, people or businesses associated with countries that have an adversarial relationship with the United States cannot buy land near military bases, and any land they do purchase in Missouri must “not exceed one percent of the total aggregate of agricultural acreage in Missouri.”
All agricultural lands that are purchased must now be reviewed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
“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.”
Countries currently listed as foreign adversaries are China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela.
Existing landowners are exempt from the executive order.
Parson said on his X account that the order goes as far as he is legally able to go and that America’s allies will not be affected by the order.
Today, we announced Executive Order 24-01, which bans individuals and businesses from nations designated as foreign adversaries from purchasing agricultural land within a 10-mile radius of critical military facilities in the State of Missouri. https://t.co/uqJIYYxFFq pic.twitter.com/LpS7AQOpWJ
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) January 2, 2024
We believe this order protects Missouri’s security interests from potential bad actors, while not punishing our allies for being good economic partners or upstanding individuals fleeing oppression in search of a better life.
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) January 3, 2024
Missouri’s move to protect sensitive military facilities and information comes during a broader conversation about Chinese land ownership in the United States.
The Hill reported that businesses affiliated with China owned more than 300,000 acres of American land as of last summer.
In October, Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders ordered the Chinese-owned agricultural company Syngenta to sell its 160 acres in the state, calling its land ownership a “threat,” Newsweek reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.