- Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three bills to limit the influence of the Chinese government in Florida.
- The bills restrict Chinese citizens’ land ownership in Florida, ban Chinese-owned social media platforms on government devices, and limit relationships between colleges and foreign “countries of concern.”
- The legislation will take effect on July 1, with DeSantis stating the bills aim to prevent Chinese Communist Party influence in the state.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida recently signed three bills aimed at curbing the influence of the Chinese government in the state.
These measures, which will take effect on July 1, restrict land ownership in Florida by Chinese citizens, ban the use of Chinese-owned social media platforms like TikTok and WeChat on government devices, and further limit colleges and universities from building relationships with foreign “countries of concern” such as China.
DeSantis made it clear that these laws are intended to keep the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) out of the Sunshine State.
He cited the economic and military growth of China, as well as the ideological stance of its leadership, as reasons for the legislation. DeSantis also expressed his disapproval of the “elites” in America who have prioritized short-term profits with China over national security.
Despite opposition from some Chinese Americans, Florida lawmakers passed the measures targeting foreign countries of concern, including China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela.
The most contentious bill (SB 264) aims to prevent Chinese citizens from purchasing large amounts of land in Florida. It allows Chinese citizens with non-tourist visas to acquire single parcels under two acres, located at least five miles from military installations.
Critics of the legislation, such as House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, argue that it is overly broad and may lead to national origin discrimination lawsuits.
Other bills signed by DeSantis include SB 258, which expands on a previous executive order to create a list of prohibited social media applications that pose security risks and block access on state-owned wireless networks, and SB 846, which bans state colleges and universities from accepting gifts from colleges based in foreign countries of concern and restricts agreements with counterparts in such countries.