White House Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby dodged a reporter’s question about foreign buyers purchasing land around military installations during Tuesday’s press conference.
A reporter asked Kirby about the White House’s concerns about Chinese real estate buyers purchasing land near U.S. military bases. The Chinese became the most common foreign buyer in the U.S. after purchasing a total of $6.1 billion in real estate last year, Texas Policy reported.
“I’m wondering, given the fact that known adversaries, in [this] case China, foreign buyers are buying out U.S. real estate, in some cases farms around military installations, is this on the [Biden] administration’s radar and what is being done, perhaps to study this, or to protect Americans from making sure that homes are made affordable and so on?” the reporter asked.
“I think the question of homeownership is a little bit out of my swim lane—,” Kirby began.
“Especially as a national security issue, particularly when it comes to around military installations,” the reporter said.
Kirby said President Joe Biden is aware and taking every precaution necessary to deal with China’s “unfair trading practices.” The reporter hit back, saying she was not asking about trading policies or homeownership, but rather about national security. (RELATED: ‘Let Me Finish’: John Kirby Clashes With Doocy Over Afghanistan, Al-Qaida)
“I’m probably not the right person to ask about homeownership here in the United States,” Kirby said.
“This isn’t about homeownership. This is about buying up land around military installations. Is that a concern to this administration?” the reporter asked. “I sent this to your office last week. You’ve had a week to look at this, including the article.”
The Chinese land purchases have raised concerns about China’s efforts to establish telecommunications systems that could potentially attack American nuclear weapons systems and strategic communications that are necessary to defeating a military surprise attack, Texas Policy reported. Congress appropriated $1.9 billion to replace 24,000 pieces of Chinese equipment in 2020, though none of it has yet been removed, according to Texas Policy.
Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy introduced legislation in 2021 to ban members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from purchasing public or private U.S. land.