John Fetterman Blasts China For Taking Back Pandas

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Weibel Contributor
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Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman slammed China for taking over land in the United States and for taking control of America’s pandas.

While speaking during a hearing by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday regarding foreign ownership in U.S. agricultural land, Fetterman questioned why China would want to purchase “vast amounts” of land in the U.S., citing the hardships American farmers face.

“I hope many of our colleagues agree,” Fetterman began. “The Chinese government and other U.S. adversaries should own zero, zero agricultural land in our country. I believe that. I mean, they’re taking back our pandas, we should take back all of their farmland.”

Fetterman’s comment about the pandas comes as three pandas at the Smithsonian National Zoo are set to be returned to China by Dec. 7, CBS reported. Two pandas arrived at the zoo on December 6, 2000, as part of an agreement between the zoo and the China Wildlife Conservation Association. The agreement has been renewed three times since then, according to Smithsonian National Zoo’s website.

“Why exactly would the Chinese want to own vast amounts of our farmland?” Fetterman asked. “I’m concerned with foreign countries and foreign corporations, ownership in our agricultural supply chain. Small farmers in PA, and there’s over 56,000 of them here in Pennsylvania, face enough hardships and they don’t need to compete with foreign governments buying our land.” (RELATED: Biden Administration Targets Florida Law Against Chinese Land Ownership)

In the last decade, Chinese agricultural investments have increased significantly, with roughly 338,000 acres being bought as of 2020. Between 2009 and 2016, Chinese agricultural investments increased from $300 million to $3.3 billion, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, 75,000 acres of farmland in the U.S. have reportedly been purchased by Chinese nationals by 2010, according to data from the USDA obtained by the Wall Street Journal.