Florida Governor Signs Three Bills to Limit Chinese Influence in the State

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed three bills aimed at limiting Chinese influence in the state.[0] The first bill restricts Chinese nationals from buying land in Florida unless they are also American citizens or permanent residents. Effective from 1 July, the legislation seeks to prevent Chinese citizens from purchasing land in Florida, with some exceptions for those with non-tourist visas. The law also prohibits governments, citizens and businesses from foreign countries of concern from acquiring agricultural land in the state and bans the sale of property within 10 miles of military bases and other critical infrastructure to interests tied to the Chinese government or other foreign countries of concern.[1]

The second bill prohibits state colleges and universities from soliciting or accepting gifts and grants from foreign countries of concern and bans private schools from being owned or controlled by adversarial nations. State universities are forbidden from accepting grants from specific countries according to the third legislation. The countries listed as “concerns” in the legislation include China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Syria. The bill also bans the use of TikTok and other Chinese apps on school and government servers and stops state universities from accepting funding from China.[0]

Critics have warned that the legislation could facilitate discrimination against Chinese homeowners in Florida while also harming other immigrants.[2] The move comes as state lawmakers have passed measures targeting foreign countries of concern, such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela. Last month, ahead of the bill’s signing, more than 100 protesters testified against the legislation, adding that it would discriminate against Florida’s Chinese population.[3]

“Food security is national security, and we have a responsibility to ensure Floridians have access to a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson.[4] Numerous foreign nations, including China, possess a significant amount of vital agricultural land in the United States, posing a threat to our national security and food supply.[4] The protection of Florida’s agricultural land and lands adjacent to critical infrastructure facilities from hostile foreign nations such as China is crucial to safeguarding our state, ensuring sustained stability, and upholding our economic independence.[5] After a long wait, this bill has finally arrived and I am grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner, Senator Jay Collins, and Representative David Borrero for their exceptional leadership in this area and their unwavering dedication to safeguarding Florida and our security concerns.[4]

0. “Ron DeSantis’ war on China’s influence in Florida” Daily Mail, 8 May. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12060165/Ron-DeSantis-war-Chinas-influence-Florida.html

1. “DeSantis signs three bills targeting Chinese Communist Party, banning TikTok, farm ownership and university partnerships” The Capitolist, 8 May. 2023, https://thecapitolist.com/desantis-signs-three-bills-targeting-chinese-communist-party-banning-tiktok-farm-ownership-and-university-partnerships/

2. “Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill barring foreigners from property buys” Axios, 8 May. 2023, https://www.axios.com/local/tampa-bay/2023/05/08/florida-ron-desantis-china-property

3. “Florida bans Chinese citizens from buying land: ‘We don’t want the CCP in the Sunshine State,’ DeSantis says” Fox News, 8 May. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/florida-bans-chinese-citizens-buying-land-dont-want-ccp-sunshine-state-desantis-says

4. “Governor Ron DeSantis Cracks Down on Communist China” Governor Ron DeSantis, 8 May. 2023, https://www.flgov.com/2023/05/08/governor-ron-desantis-cracks-down-on-communist-china/

5. “Simpson Applauds Legislature for Passing SB 264” Morning Ag Clips -, 8 May. 2023, https://www.morningagclips.com/simpson-applauds-legislature-for-passing-sb-264

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