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DeSantis sounds alarm over Chinese purchase of Florida land for primate breeding facility

DeSantis has previously sought to curtail such purchases by calling for legislation to outlaw foreign adversaries from being able to purchase land near U.S. military bases.

Published: November 3, 2022 6:48pm

Updated: November 4, 2022 1:03pm

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has sounded the alarm over a Chinese research lab's purchase of land in Florida to establish a primate breeding facility.

JOINN Laboratories CA Inc. purchased 1,400 acres in Levy County, Fla., for a $5.5 million sum, per the Epoch Times. JOINN's founders have close ties to the Chinese military. The sale is one of the largest Chinese land purchases in the U.S. in recent years. JOINN Laboratories, the parent company of the California lab that bought the land, is a Beijing-based drug developer.

DeSantis has previously sought to curtail such purchases by calling for legislation to outlaw foreign adversaries from being able to purchase land near U.S. military bases.

"They [Chinese companies] pay a lot more than it's worth; that's why people are doing it," DeSantis said, per the Times. "From a national security perspective, is that something that we wanna see? A lot of times, there'll be companies that will put themselves out as private, but if you peel back the onion a little bit, they're basically controlled by the Chinese government," he further asserted.

On the matter of the JOINN breeding facility, the governor's office told the outlet that "[t]he governor has been consistently opposed to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s growing influence in Florida, and this proposed facility is a prime example of the type of activity that we are acting to prohibit."

In announcing the legislation, DeSantis highlighted a separate Chinese land purchase in North Dakota near Grand Forks Air Force Base where an American subsidiary of Fufeng Group aims to build a corn mill. The site is 12 miles from the base, which house U.S. surveillance technology. That purchase is on hold pending a Committee of Foreign Investments in the United States review.

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