BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed multiple bills aimed at limiting the influence of China’s communist leadership Monday morning.
DeSantis, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, and other officials gathered at the American Aviation Flight Academy in Brooksville for the bill signing.
The bills in question were SB 264, SB 846, and SB 258.
The bills prevent sensitive data from being stored on servers connected to the CCP and keep Chinese influence out of education institutes, and block apps like Tik Tok from “government and educational institution servers and devices.”
“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “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,” he continued.
The legislation also bans Chinese entities or affiliates from purchasing farmland or other land near military bases or other infrastructure
“Food security is national security, and we have a responsibility to ensure Floridians have access to a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “China and other hostile foreign nations control hundreds of thousands of acres of critical agricultural lands in the U.S., leaving our food supply and our national security interests at risk.”
“Restricting China and other hostile foreign nations from controlling Florida’s agricultural land and lands near critical infrastructure facilities protects our state, provides long-term stability, and preserves our economic freedom,” he continued.”
The bills also curtail the influence of other nations like Venezuela, Cuba, and Syria. Residents of these countries will also be blocked from buying real estate in Florida if they are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
While the bills have been lauded by some, others have called them discriminatory toward Asians.
On April 29, Asian American protestors rallied in Orlando against the bills.
“This bill is against the Constitution. This bill is also against the Fair Housing Act,” said resident Grace Feng to NBC affiliate WESH.
However, a Taiwanese official at the conference praised the bill, saying the country, which has been at odds with China for decades, appreciates the state of Florida’s support.
“We thank the governor and the government of Florida for sustaining the partnership with Taiwan and upholding universal values of democracy and liberty for all,” he said.