Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced new steps to protect the state of Florida from threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party and other “international foes” in cyberspace, real estate, and academia.
On Thursday, the governor announced multiple executive and legislative actions focused on deterring threats of espionage from Florida’s list of “countries of concern,” which includes China, Cuba, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela, a press release revealed.
DeSantis has suggested legislative action to prevent the CCP and other foreign entities from purchasing agricultural land, especially land near U.S. military bases.
The press release stated that foreign investors have held an interest in 5.8 percent of the state’s agricultural land since 2019. It added that Florida ranks fifth for the highest percentage of foreign-owned land.
“From server farms to farmland, the Communist Party of China has been worming its way into our nation’s data storage systems and buying up tracts of land near sensitive national security sites,” DeSantis said.
Furthermore, DeSantis signed Executive Order 22-216, prohibiting state and local governments from obtaining technology products or services from companies associated with the CCP and the other six foreign countries to prevent sensitive government information from landing in the hands of foreign governments.
Similarly, the governor proposed legislative action deterring “government entities from contracting with companies owned by, controlled by, or domiciled in foreign countries of concern if the contract would provide access to Floridians’ personal information.”
DeSantis also took action to “expose the influence of groups such as CCP-funded Confucius Institutes” by requiring “the disclosure of foreign donations to state educational institutions in excess of $50,000” after signing HB 7017 last year, the press release revealed.
“By prohibiting the purchase of lands, state contracts with Chinese technology firms, and the infiltration of CCP-affiliated groups such as Confucius Institutes, Florida is leading the way to protect our nation from international foes,” the governor stated.