House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle) recently highlighted the necessity of the Property Protection Act (PPA), which prohibits certain foreign governments from purchasing land in Alabama, after a Chinese jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. aircraft over the Taiwan Strait last week. 

Gov. Kay Ivey signed the PPA last Wednesday. The new law, introduced in the Alabama House by Stadthagen earlier this year, bars Chinese, North Korean, Iranian and Russian government actors from purchasing land in the state. The bill's original version would've prohibited Chinese citizens from acquiring land in Alabama, but a Senate committee added a substitute amendment to ban only certain foreign governments.

The incident cited by Stadthagen occurred last week. According to reports, a Chinese J-16 fighter jet cut off a U.S. RC-135 surveillance plane. Both sides have accused the other of taking dangerous or aggressive actions.

Stadthagen suggested that allowing adversarial governments to purchase land in Alabama places the military bases and facilities located here in jeopardy. Still, Alabama ranks in the top three states in the amount of land owned by foreign entities. 

"This is not just about protecting our state. This is about protecting our nation," he said. "China has made it clear that they are not interested in a positive relationship with us. They don't like us. We heard that message loud and clear, and so if the Chinese Communist Party thinks they are going to buy our land and move in as our neighbors, they can think again."

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