Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed three bills into law on Monday, including one prohibiting Chinese citizens from purchasing land in the state. The new regulations are intended to "counteract the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the state of Florida," per a press release.
"Today, Florida makes it very clear we don't want the CCP in the Sunshine State," DeSantis said at a press conference on Monday. "We want to maintain this as the free state of Florida."
The new bill, SB 246, "prevents Chinese nationals from buying land in Florida unless they are also American citizens or permanent residents," Insider explains. In an exception to the new law, legislators added "an amendment allowing anyone holding a non-tourist visa to buy one property of up to two acres," Insider adds, "as long as it's not within five miles of a military installation."
DeSantis called the latest bill a response to a "concerted effort" by the Chinese Communist Party to acquire farmland in Florida. The governor also signed a bill that bans using Chinese-owned social media apps, like TikTok and WeChat, on government devices and another that limits colleges and universities from entering agreements with their counterparts in foreign "countries of concern" such as China. Florida has also banned Russian, Cuban, Iranian, North Korean, Syrian, and Venezuelan citizens from purchasing property within 10 miles of a military base. However, they were not entirely banned from buying land in Florida.
"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."