Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

By Eric Mack    |   Monday, 08 May 2023 03:11 PM EDT


Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis officially signed a trio of bills Monday to stop Chinese Communist Party influence in his state. The bills limit Chinese-tied land buys of farmland, near military bases, or critical infrastructure, protect against Chinese forced technology transfer, and prohibit funding tied to China for education institutions in the state.

“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party,” DeSantis said Monday.

“I’m proud to sign this legislation to stop the purchase of our farmland and land near our military bases and critical infrastructure by Chinese agents, to stop sensitive digital data from being stored in China, and to stop CCP influence in our education system from grade school to grad school.

“We are following through on our commitment to crack down on communist China.”

In a Friday interview with Newsmax‘s John Bachman, DeSantis hailed the Florida Legislature GOP supermajorities for being able to get an aggressive agenda passed to root out Chinese influence in his state.

“This is trailblazing for the nation,” DeSantis told Bachman in an interview that aired on “Eric Bolling The Balance.” “Certainly, when you talk about CCP, they made a concerted effort to buy farmland, and so we’re very cognizant of that. We’re not going to let that happen in Florida, but we’ve gone even farther and said we don’t want them near any critical infrastructure.”

Interests of Foreign Countries (SB 264) restricts governmental entities from contracting with foreign countries and entities of concern and restricts conveyances of agricultural lands and other interests in real property to foreign principals, the People’s Republic of China, and other entities and persons that are affiliated with them. It also amends certain electronic health record statutes to ensure that health records are physically stored in the continental U.S., U.S. territories, or Canada.

“Food security is national security, and we have a responsibility to ensure Floridians have access to a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply,” Commissioner Wilton Simpson said Monday. “China and other hostile foreign nations control hundreds of thousands of acres of critical agricultural lands in the U.S., leaving our food supply and our national security interests at risk.

“Restricting China and other hostile foreign nations from controlling Florida’s agricultural land lands near critical infrastructure facilities protects our state, provides long-term stability, and preserves our economic freedom. This bill is long overdue.”

Agreements of Educational Entities with Foreign Entities (SB 846) prohibits state colleges and universities and their officials from soliciting or accepting any gift from a college or university based in a foreign country of concern. It also prohibits state colleges and universities from accepting any grant from or participating in any agreement or partnership with any college or university based in a foreign country of concern. The bill also prohibits the ownership or operation of any private school participating in the state’s school choice scholarship program by a person or entity domiciled in, owned by, or in any way controlled by a foreign country of concern.

Prohibited Applications on Government-issued Devices (SB 258) requires the Department of Management Services to create a list of prohibited applications owned by a foreign principal or foreign countries of concern, including China, which present a cybersecurity and data privacy risk.

The bill requires government and educational institution to block access to prohibited applications on all government servers and devices in Florida and requires public employers to retain the ability to remotely wipe and uninstall these dangerous applications from government issued devices.

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