(Miami) Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, tipped to run for president in 2024, signed into law Monday a series of laws aimed at “countering the influence” of Beijing, in particular by prohibiting many Chinese from acquiring real estate in his state.
“We don’t want the Chinese Communist Party” in Florida, the conservative lawmaker said at a press conference, accusing “American elites” of having “ignored this problem for far too long”.
Elected to lead Florida in 2018, Ron DeSantis shone the spotlight on his state by turning it into a laboratory of conservative ideas.
These measures will allow Florida to counter “economic, strategic and security” threats from China, assured the Republican, who could start his race for the nomination of his party at any time.
It also limits acquisitions of agricultural land or property near military installations for Russian, North Korean, Iranian, Cuban, Venezuelan and Syrian citizens – considered “foreign countries at risk”.
On Monday, Ron DeSantis also tightened the TikTok ban on state officials’ phones and banned Florida universities from developing partnerships with Chinese institutions.
These measures have been criticized by the local Democratic opposition as being discriminatory.
Several other US states are also considering restricting land and real estate acquisitions by foreign nationals.