BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed three bills to counteract the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the state of Florida. Under the new laws (SB 258, SB 264, SB 846) Florida now limits the Chinese purchase of farmland and any land near military bases and critical infrastructure, protects digital networks from Chinese spyware and roots out Chinese influence in Florida’s educational system.
“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat – the Chinese Communist Party,” said Governor DeSantis. “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 258, Prohibited Applications on Government-issued Devices, prohibits the use of Tiktok, WeChat and other Chinese apps on networks associated with public agencies. These companies are under increasing scrutiny by the U.S. government as a potential privacy and security risk to U.S. citizens.
SB 264, Interests of Foreign Countries, restricts governmental entities from contracting with foreign countries and entities of concern. Agricultural lands and other interests in real property in Florida may no longer be sold to foreign principals, the People’s Republic of China, or other entities and those affiliated with them.
SB 846, Agreements of Educational Entities with Foreign Entities, prohibits state colleges and universities and their employees from soliciting or accepting any gift in their official capacities from a college or university based in a foreign country of concern. State colleges and universities are also prohibited from accepting any grant or participating in any agreement or partnership with any college or university based in a foreign country of concern.
The governor has expressed concerns over the CCP’s activity throughout the Western Hemisphere “gobbling up land.” On Friday, DeSantis told reporters that Florida’s crackdown on China has been “the most ambitious” anywhere in the country.
“I think ours has been the most ambitious of anywhere in the country and I think it’s likely to be something that is a model for other states to follow – soon,” DeSantis said.