Although recently Chinese investment in the USA has grown exponentially, it has not flowed equally among the US states. Controlling for popular explanations in the foreign direct investment literature, we carry out subnational analysis to assess the determinants of Chinese investment in the USA. Using a panel dataset for all states from 2006 to 2016, we find that Chinese firms are more attracted to states where Republican governors hold office. Republican-governed states particularly attract greenfield investments from Chinese firms. However, we also find that US national security concerns and Chinese goals appear to affect investment flows in high-technology states, limiting the role of partisanship. Our results indicate that it is too soon to dismiss the importance of politics on foreign direct investment.