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Major U.S. Landowner’s Leadership Full of Chinese Officials

Several top executives at a major pork producer and owner of American farmland have significant ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), raising further concerns of Chinese attempts to buy influence and land in the United States.

As the Daily Caller reports, at least four executives with WH Group Limited, a Hong Kong-based company that is the world’s largest producer of pork, are members of the CCP. WH Group, through its American subsidiary Smithfield Foods, controls at least 150,000 acres of farmland across 29 different states. Smithfield, first founded in 1936, was bought by WH Group in 2013 for $7.1 billion.

The ties between the executives and the CCP were determined by cross-referencing the firm’s roster with various Chinese news reports and corporate records, as there is no mention of China on Smithfield’s website. Smithfield’s online map also does not list any businesses in or connected to Asia.

“It is no joke to join the Chinese Communist Party,” said former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer and North Carolina congressional candidate Matt Shoemaker. “You cannot just walk in and sign-up. You have to show that you are a true believer.”

“No foreign government should be owning American farmland,” Shoemaker added. “It is a national security issue, for obvious reasons.”

Among other executives with ties to the CCP are the chairman of WH Group, Wan Long. Long and others have been identified as CCP members due to a 2022 Chinese-language stock exchange filing by Shuanghui Investment and Development Co. (SIDC), another subsidiary of the WH Group. Corporate records from WH Group and SIDC confirm that several of the company’s top executives either currently hold or have previously held positions in the Chinese government.

The issue of Chinese entities attempting to buy American farmland has become a more pressing concern in recent years. In 2010, Chinese entities owned just 13,730 acres in the United States; by 2021, that number had increased to 383,935 acres. China has indicated that its strategy is to buy farmland that is located near American military bases, for the purposes of surveillance and espionage. In response, numerous states led by Republicans have begun passing laws cracking down on the ability of foreign companies and governments to buy land in the United States.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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