BROOKSVILLE -- Florida doesn't want the Chinese Communist Party in the Sunshine State.
That's the message Governor Ron DeSantis hopes to send by signing several bills aimed at curbing the influence of the People's Republic of China.
One bill prohibits CCP-related entities and individuals, as well as those tied to certain other undemocratic regimes such as North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela, from owning farmland or land within 10 miles of military installations. Another, Senate Bill 846, bans state universities from accepting gifts or partnerships with China or with Chinese universities including the so-called "Confucius Institutes". A third, Senate Bill 258, bans Tik Tok on state servers and networks, already implemented by executive order.
Speaking at the Brooksville airport, DeSantis eviscerated 30 years of U.S. - China policy, saying that "elites" were wrong when they assumed that trade with China would make that nation more capitalist and democratic. The governor said China has been targeting our "soft underbelly" through land purchases and partnerships with universities which he maintains exist to put Chinese propaganda in front of American college students.
DeSantis and others at the event said that adults need to explain to college students and young people that any utility in TikTok is outweighed by data mining by the Chinese government through ByteDance, the parent company, which is based in China.
Representatives of the government of Taiwan attended the bill signing.
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