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DeSantis eyes ban on Chinese land purchases in Florida

Roughly 24% of all foreign property purchases in the U.S. occur in Florida, per the Times.

January 12, 2023 3:31pm

Updated: January 12, 2023 4:24pm

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is mulling a ban on Chinese-based groups from purchasing land in his state amid concerns over Beijing espionage efforts.

He has previously warned of land purchases by companies with close ties to Beijing and the potential national security threat that such transactions may pose. JOINN Laboratories CA Inc., whose parent company is a Chinese-operated drug firm, previously purchased 1,400 acres of land in Levy County, Fla., for example.

"If you look at the Chinese Communist Party, they've been very active throughout the Western Hemisphere in gobbling up land and investing in different things," the governor said this week in a press conference, according to the Epoch Times. "And, you know, when they have interests that are opposed to ours, and you've seen how they've wielded their authority... it is not in the best interests of Florida to have the Chinese Communist Party owning farmland, owning land close to military bases."

The Florida Republican has previously warned that Chinese land purchases, especially near U.S. military bases, could present security threats. Last year, for example, he maligned a Chinese land purchase in North Dakota near Grand Forks Air Force Base, where an American subsidiary of Fufeng Group is looking to build a corn mill.

Roughly 24% of all foreign property purchases in the U.S. occur in Florida, per the Times.

DeSantis has become a conservative leader and potential presidential candidate during his official tenure as he has pushed a multitude of right-wing policies, most notably in education where he has taken on critical race theory and LGBTQ ideology in public schools.

He is not alone in his concerns about Beijing, however, as the House overwhelmingly voted this week to establish a panel to investigate U.S.-China strategic competition.

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