Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the issue during a press conference this week, telling reporters that it’s a trend that needs to stop.
DeSantis: “We don’t want to have holdings by hostile nations”
According to WFLA, the governor’s remarks were made while speaking at an event on Tuesday in Bonita Springs.
Gov. DeSantis Unveils the Future of Conservation in Florida https://t.co/NojvKw7MZH
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 10, 2023
“So, my view on our economy…in Florida is, you know, we don’t want to have holdings by hostile nations,” DeSantis declared.
“And so, if you look at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), they’ve been very active throughout the Western Hemisphere in gobbling up land and investing in different things,” he pointed out.
“Obviously if someone comes in and buys, it’s not the CCP that’s signing this, these are holding companies and all that,” DeSantis acknowledged.
However, the governor stressed that Chinese President Xi Jinping has “taken a much more Marxist, Leninist turn since he’s been ruling China” and it is thus “not in the best interests of Florida to have the Chinese Communist Party owning farmland.”
“We do not need to have CCP influence in Florida’s economy,” DeSantis insisted while pointing out that Florida has banned the pro-communist Confucius Institute from Florida colleges and universities.
“They’ve used those Confucius Institutes across the country to bring propaganda, as if universities don’t have enough problems already,” DeSantis complained.
“We’ve also done things to limit their ability to fund research in our universities, I think we’re going to go further than that, the legislature only went so far a couple of years ago. I think there’s an appetite to do even more,” he went on to add.
Republicans warn Chinese firm is buying land near a military base
DeSantis is not alone in warning of the danger posed by Chinese economic influence, with Fox News reporting last month that fifty-one Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the Biden administration about a Chinese company buying land near North Dakota’s Grand Forks Air Force Base.
“According to the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the Grand Forks Air Force Base has exceptional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, making the recently purchased land the ideal location to closely monitor and intercept military activity,” they wrote.
“The presence of a CCP-affiliated corporation near a military installation potentially undermines the integrity of our high-capability military bases, jeopardizing our strategic interests,” they warned.