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Chen Tianqiao’s Extensive Land Holdings in Oregon Raise National Concerns

Billionaire Chen Tianqiao, founder, chairman, and CEO of Shanda Group, has amassed approximately 200,000 acres of land in Oregon, as reported by Land Report. This substantial acquisition, combined with his ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has stirred apprehension, prompting a closer look into his involvement in CCP-related organizations.

Chen's Oregon Land Portfolio: A Comprehensive Overview
In 2015, Chen made a noteworthy purchase of 198,000 acres in Oregon, a transaction valued at $85 million, making him the 82nd-largest property owner in the U.S. and and the second-largest foreign landowner, folowing a Canadian family with over 1 million acres in Maine, according to Bloomberg. A significant portion of Chen's Oregon acreage, approximitely 33,000 acres, is situated in the Bull Springs Skyline Forest, an area boasting springs, creeks, timberland, and diverse wildlife, according to Land Report and the Bull Springs Skyline Forest website.

Concerns and Criticisms from Political Figures
The acquisition of timberland by individuals associated with the CCP has drawn criticism from Oregon Republican Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer. Expressing deep concern, she stated, "Foreign ownership of United States lands is a serious problem that has rightfully sparked unease among farmers, ranchers, and foresters across the country." Chavez-DeRemer emphasized the significance of timberland as a precious and finite resource, echoing worries shared by many.

Diversified Portfolio: Beyond Timberland
Apart from his substantial land holdings, Chen also possesses urban properties across the United States. These include the Vanderbilt mansion in Manhattan, the Seely Mudd Estate near Los Angeles, and a notable 150,000 sqft. research facility at Caltech known as the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience.

Chen Tianqiao's CCP Affiliation and Ideological Alignment
Chen's connection to the CCP dates back to his early years. According to a 2005 press release from his alma mater, Fudan University in Shanghai, he joined the CCP in 1991 and earned the title of 'Shanghai Municipal Outstanding Model Cadre Student' in 1993. Numerous Chinese media outlets, including a 2016 Sohu.com article and Chen's profile on Sina, confirm his status as a CCP member.

Ideological Alignment and Admiration for Mao Zedong
Reports suggest that Chen holds Mao Zedong, the first chairman of the People's Republic of China, in high regard. His corporate office reportedly prominently displays Mao's writen works, and he has expressed admiration for a specific Mao quote: "Strategically we should despise all our enemies, but tactically we should take them all seriously."

Growing Concerns and Proposed Measures
The increase in CCP-affiliated U.S. land acquisitions has become a pressing concern. A House Select Committee on the CCP aide commented on the issue, proposing a presumption of denial for entities associated with the PRC, particularly in land acquisitions near national security sites. This precautionary measure aims to address potential risks related to intelligence collection or other security threats posed by CCP-affiliated entities.

In conclusion, Chen Tianqiao's extensive land holdings in Oregon, coupled with his CCP affiliation and ideological alignment, have raised national concerns. As debates on foreign ownership of U.S. lands intensify, the need for careful scrutiny and policy measures becomes increasingly evident to safeguard national interests and security.

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