French Farmers Sow Grass in Fields to Protest China Buying Up Thousands of Acres of Countryside

China
GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images

French farmers lit flares and sowed grass seeds on land bought up by firms from China, complaining locals are being squeezed out of the countryside by foreign investors.

Around a hundred farmers converged on land near Châtillon-sur-Indre in the Loire valley, where China’s Hongyang consortium has bought more than 2,000 acres of farmland.

It bought 4,200 acres in the region in 2016, and all told, the Chinese have purchased an estimated €76 billion (£68bn/$88bn) in French land since 2010, including a large number of Bordeaux vineyards — up from 30 châteaux in 2012 to over 160 today, according to The Times.

“The land is there to provide for farmers’ families and to produce food,” complained Laurent Pinatel, a spokesman for the Small Farmers’ Confederation.

“The [Chinese] owners have come here to make a profit, to speculate on agriculture while monopolising the land,” Mr Pinatel.

Left-wing MP Jean-Paul Dufrègne was supportive, commenting: “Land prices are being pushed up to three times the market value.”

He added: “The consequence is simple. It makes land unaffordable to young farmers.”

Dufrègne is pressuring France’s globalist president, Emmanuel Macron, to regulate Chinese land purchases — but his background as a banker at Rothschild & Cie and globalist political views makes him an unlikely champion for such a cause.

Across the English Channel, the United Kingdom is experiencing a similar phenomenon — although it is more pronounced in urban areas than the countryside.

Reporting has focused on how the Qatari dictatorship, in particular, has bought up huge swathes of the British capital, with the Daily Mail noting in 2017 that their 24 million square feet of property puts them ahead of the City of London and even Queen Elizabeth II in terms of total real estate.

This has not only helped to drive prices in the capital to astronomical heights, but left the British government in a difficult position diplomatically — as the Qatari government is accused of being a major sponsor of radical Islamic terrorism internationally, and has been increasingly isolated by the United States and even Saudi Arabia.

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