Ownership of U.S. farmland by Chinese nationals has risen significantly in the last decade and amounted to 338,000 acres as of 2020, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data. Since 2010, Chinese nationals have reportedly purchased an additional 75,000 acres of U.S. farmland, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data obtained by the WSJ. Although amounting to less than 1% of all U.S. agricultural land held by foreign citizens, ownership of U.S. farmland by Chinese nationals has received increased scrutiny in recent years following warnings from U.S. government officials claiming that the Chinese government may seek to use land for military and espionage purposes, according to the WSJ. “South Dakota is now the only home of the B-21 Bomber,” South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem said on Friday. “That’s huge for both our state’s economy and our national security, but it also means that hostile countries like China are going to do whatever they can to get intelligence on that bomber.” “Just last year we saw a Chinese entity purchase land near an Air Force Base in North Dakota,” Noem said. “Though they claimed it was for corn processing, there is not enough corn nearby to justify the facility. So, it appears to be more nefarious.” Promising jobs and increased tax revenue, Chinese company Fufeng Group purchased 370 acres of farmland in Grand Forks, North Dakota, claiming their intention to build a $700 million corn mill, the WSJ reported. While supportive of Fufeng’s proposal at first, Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski reportedly changed his mind about the corn mill’s construction after receiving a U.S. Air Force letter first made public in January, according to a related WSJ report from January, which identified Fufeng’s project as a counterintelligence threat, given its close proximity to Grand Forks Air Force Base.