DeSantis signs bill that bans Chinese citizens from buying land in Florida

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed multiple bills on Monday that prohibit Chinese citizens from purchasing land in the state.

In a news release, DeSantis signed bills SB 264, SB 846, and SB 258 into law, noting how he called on his state legislature last year to build upon its efforts to combat corporate espionage and higher education subterfuge carried out by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its agents.

SB 264, referred to as Interests of Foreign Countries, will prohibit “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,” which include the People’s Republic of China and other entities and individuals affiliated with the country.

According to Fox Florida affiliate WTVT, the legislation will allow Chinese citizens with nontourist visas to acquire single parcels that are smaller than 2 acres and at least 5 miles from military installations.

SB 864, referred to as Agreements of Educational Entities with Foreign Entities, will bar state colleges and universities and their employees and representatives from accepting any gifts “in their official capacities from a college or university based in a foreign country of concern.”

State colleges and universities also are prohibited from accepting any grant from or participating in any agreement or partnership with any college or university based in a foreign country unless the partnership is authorized by the Florida Board of Governors or the State Board of Education, the news release said.

SB 258 will require the state’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.”

The bill also will require government and educational institutions to block access to prohibited applications on all government servers and devices in the state, requiring public employers to retain the ability to remotely wipe and uninstall these applications, such as TikTok, from government-issued devices, the news release said.

“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party,” DeSantis said in a statement. “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.”

The move comes as state lawmakers have passed measures targeting foreign countries of concern, such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela, WTVT reported.

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