Ron DeSantis Punishes China

Ron DeSantis Punishes China

( – The US has taken its time in waking up to the threat the Chinese Communist Party presents to our way of life, but since the pandemic exposed how reliant we’ve become on China, things are finally starting to happen. Florida is taking the lead on this — and now it’s brought in a string of new laws aimed at reducing CCP influence.

On May 8, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed three new bills into law; all of them are specifically aimed at China and other rogue states. All three new pieces of legislation originated in the Florida Senate, and between them, they add a powerful new layer to existing anti-China laws DeSantis signed in 2021. Although they’re aimed at seven listed “countries of concern” — China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria — most of those countries are broke and can’t flex their muscles much inside the US anyway. China is a different matter, and it’s obviously the main target of the laws.

From now on, Chinese entities or their US affiliates won’t be allowed to buy Florida farmland — or any other land that’s within 10 miles of a military base or critical infrastructure. Chinese citizens won’t be able to buy any property at all, even a home, unless they’re legal residents of the US. There’s a new ban on the storing of sensitive data on servers owned by anyone linked to the CCP, while TikTok and other Chinese apps are banned on devices owned by the government or any educational institution. State colleges won’t be allowed to accept any gifts from countries of concern, and those countries won’t be able to buy private schools in Florida.

Chinese influence on education is also targeted. The 2021 laws force colleges to report foreign grants over $50,000, and limit the deals they can do with China or the other named countries. Now DeSantis has gone further. A statement from his office says the new laws will make sure “the Chinese influence that we rooted out of higher education” won’t simply be diverted into primary and secondary schools instead.

These laws are no paper tigers, either. Anyone who knowingly sells property to someone who isn’t allowed to buy it could face criminal charges — and property that’s illegally bought by foreign nationals could be seized by the state. Florida Democrats oppose the new rules, of course, but DeSantis seems determined to face the Chinese threat head-on.

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