DeSantis signs bill to ban Chinese citizens from buying land in Sunshine State
"Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party," the governor said.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron Desantis on Monday signed a bill to bar the sale of land to Chinese citizens within the state, with limited exceptions.
"Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party," the governor said in a press release. "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."
SB 264, labelled "Interests of Foreign Countries," bars " 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," the governor's statement noted.
That measure does provide exceptions for Chinese citizens with non-tourist visas to purchase single parcels smaller than 2 acres if they are at least five miles from a U.S. military facility, FOX13 reported.
He also signed SB 846, which bars state colleges and their employees from seeking or accepting official gifts from academic institutions in any "foreign country of concern."
A third bill, SB 258, mandates that the Florida Department of Management Services create a list of banned foreign apps that pose cybersecurity risks. State and educational institutions must block access to apps on the list.
The governor has previously sounded the alarm over Chinese land purchases, in particular, pointing to the purchase of 1,400 acres of land in Levy County, Fla., by JOINN Laboratories CA Inc., which has a Chinese parent company. As of January, approximately 24% of all foreign land purchases occurred in Florida.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.