Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Three Bills Targeting China

The bills regard Chinese acquisition of American land, involvement in universities, and TikTok on government devices.

  • Republican Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) signed three bills aimed at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
  • Bill SB 264, the ‘Interests of Foreign Countries Act,’ bans “governmental entities from contracting with foreign countries and entities of concern and restricts conveyances of agricultural lands and other interests in real property to foreign principals,” according to a statement from Governor DeSantis.
  • The bill also ensures electronic health records are physically stored in the United States, other U.S. territories, or Canada.
  • Bill SB 846, titled ‘Agreements of Educational Entities with Foreign Entities,’ restricts state colleges and universities and their employees or representatives from “soliciting or accepting any gift in their official capacities from a college or university based in a foreign country of concern.”
  • Under the legislation, a university may not accept any grant or make a partnership with a college or university from a “foreign country of concern” unless the Board of Governors or the State Board of Education agrees to the collaboration.
  • SB 258, or ‘Prohibited Applications on Government-issued Devices,’ demands Florida’s Department of Management Services to “create a list of prohibited applications owned by a foreign principal or foreign countries of concern, including China, which present a cybersecurity and data privacy risk.”
  • SB 258 also requires government and educational institutions to prohibit access to foreign applications on government networks and devices.
  • “Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party,” said 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,” the statement continued. “We are following through on our commitment to crack down on Communist China.”
  • Commissioner Wilton Simpson also released a statement, noting that food security “is national security, and we have a responsibility to ensure Floridians have access to a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply.”
  • “China and other hostile foreign nations control hundreds of thousands of acres of critical agricultural lands in the U.S., leaving our food supply and our national security interests at risk,” Simpson said. “Restricting China and other hostile foreign nations from controlling Florida’s agricultural land and lands near critical infrastructure facilities protects our state, provides long-term stability, and preserves our economic freedom.”
  • Florida lawmakers recently created an exemption on a “resign-to-run” law that would allow Ron DeSantis to remain the governor of Florida if he chooses to run for U.S. president.
  • The exemption passed Florida’s Senate with a 28-12 vote, and the state House by a 76-34 margin.