The second-largest foreign landowner in the U.S. is a Chinese billionaire who it has been determined is a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of Chinese-language news reports.
Chen Tianqiao, the founder, chairman and CEO of global investment firm Shanda Group, owns approximately 200,000 acres of land in Oregon, according to Land Report. Chen also has extensive ties to the Chinese government, ranging from CCP membership to executive roles in CCP-affiliated organizations, according to a DCNF review of Chinese-language media reports.
In 2015, Chen acquired 198,000 acres in Oregon, according to Land Report. The $85 million purchase made the Chinese national the 82nd-largest property owner in the U.S. and the second-largest foreign U.S. land owner, Bloomberg reported, second only to a Canadian family who owns over 1 million acres of Maine.
Oregon’s Bull Springs Skyline Forest accounts for approximately 33,000 of Chen’s acreage, according to Land Report. The forest is located west of Bend, Oregon, and is home to springs, creeks, timberland and wildlife, according to the Bull Springs Skyline Forest website.
Oregon Republican Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer said she was “deeply concerned that individuals tied to the Chinese Communist Party are buying up timberland, which is one of our most precious and finite resources.”
“Foreign ownership of United States lands is a serious problem that has rightfully sparked unease among farmers, ranchers and foresters across the country,” Chavez-DeRemer told the DCNF.
Chen also owns several urban properties in the U.S., including the Vanderbilt Mansion in Manhattan, the Seeley Mudd Estate near Los Angeles and a 150,000 square-foot research facility at Caltech called the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience — each worth tens of millions of dollars, according to Land Report.
Chinese ownership of U.S. land, in particular agricultural land, has come under increased scrutiny from GOP governors, who see it as a potential national security threat. Several states, including Florida, have taken legislative and executive action to ban Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland, the most recent being Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s January 2024 executive order banning such purchases near military installations.
“One of the Chinese Communist Party’s goals is to undermine and weaken America,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told the DCNF. “This includes instances where our greatest adversary continues to buy land — whether its farmland or near our installations.”
See full article from The Daily Caller.