China’s Communist government hates America. That may seem overly harsh or simple – but it’s a fact. They want to be the strongest nation on earth, and they see America standing in their way. Unfortunately, we have a President in Washington who is not taking this threat seriously. If he won’t protect the American people from this very real and growing threat, then states need to step up and do what we can.
President Joe Biden is not standing up to the Chinese Communist Party. He isn’t stopping them from using TikTok to gather data on our citizens. He has not stopped them from purchasing agricultural land and buying up our food supply. He has not taken steps to stop taxpayer dollars from being sent to China.
South Dakota is taking the lead in each of these areas.
Two weeks ago, I banned TikTok for state government employees. Since then, state after state has followed our lead. The United States Senate has also followed our lead an unanimously voted to ban TikTok on U.S. government devices. I encourage the House and President Biden to follow through on this key action.
Our South Dakota Investment Council has also conducted a review of all state investments to see where our state’s finances may be tied to Communist China. They have already pulled state investments out of a few Chinese companies, and we all agree that Communist China should not benefit from South Dakota dollars.
Most recently, I announced my plan to block purchases of agricultural land by nations that hate us, and I will work with legislators to make that happen. We will create a new board, called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – South Dakota, which will make recommendations to me regarding foreign interests trying to purchase ag land in South Dakota. If they are tied to China or another nation that hates us, I will reject the purchase.
A recent report showed that 47 million acres of ag land – or nearly 2% of all ag land in the country – is held by foreign investors. In states like Florida and Texas, it’s more than 2.4%. South Dakota has a much smaller share, and I’m proud of that, but there is room for our laws to improve. We will take action to make it happen.
South Dakota will continue to lead by example. We will stand up to protect our people from the emerging threat of Communist China. And I hope that other states across the nation continue to follow our lead.
This column was initially printed as an op-ed on FoxNews.com.