In the SCMP article you linked Du Ying, former deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, "warned against directly buying or leasing land overseas to grow grain because it would provoke “strong political and social sensitivities.”

What to make of how much farmland China has been buying in the U.S.? Like real estate, foreign investors/corporations face shockingly few obstacles. Sen. Cotton has written a bill that might stop more foreign acquisitions of farmland. The Chinese clearly understand that there are "sensitivities" that go along with selling out a nation's most essential resources — land for growing food — but the U.S. political climate is so toxic commonsense is far from common ground.

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I tend to make not much of it. Land is not an asset that can be transported someplace else--no matter who buys US land, it will always be US land.

If a war breaks out between the US and China, asset seizures are to be expected, and even without a war it would not take a great deal of regulatory legerdemain to prevent China from shipping agricultural produce from Chinese owned US lands back to China.

While it is a concern Chinese thefts of intellectual property and other forms of corporate espionage are still the far greater worry, in my view.

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