On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), announced a series of executive orders and proposed legislative actions aiming to reduce the influence of hostile foreign nations such as China.
The Daily Wire reports that DeSantis’ proposals focus on seven nations in particular: China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Syria. The proposed measures will cover each of these nations’ respective efforts to target the state of Florida through such means as cyberspace, real estate purchases, and academic influence.
“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,” said DeSantis in a statement. “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.”
One of the executive orders signed by DeSantis forbids government entities from purchasing technology and services companies that are in any way owned, controlled, or domiciled by any of the aforementioned countries. One of the bills DeSantis proposed would further prohibit state entities from doing business with companies that are involved with these nations, if the contracts in question would allow the companies to access the personal information of Florida residents.
Governor DeSantis also proposed legislation that would ban foreign purchases of land in Florida that is located near military bases, as well as purchasing agricultural land. Further legislative proposals call for banning any donations or gifts to institutions of higher education in the state of Florida from any individual, entity, or government entity belonging to any of the hostile nations listed.
“The Chinese Communist Party cheats on trade, steals our intellectual property, and produces deadly drugs like fentanyl that are pouring into our southern border,” Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said in her own statement. “Governor DeSantis’ announcements today are not only critical to protecting American interests and Florida farmlands but also to maintaining our national security. Florida will never kowtow to the oppressive regime of China.”
The various proposals received praise from several statewide officials in Florida, including Department of Management Services Secretary Pedro Allende, and Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr.