At a news conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis aired his grievances against China’s attempts at buying land in the United States.
This is perhaps a hint of what his foreign policy might look like should he pursue a presidential bid.
“Make it here. Make it, honestly, anywhere. But not China,” DeSantis said.
That merely set the stage for DeSantis’ broader attack on the world’s “elites” and what he called Chinese infiltration of American society and economy.
The bittersweet relations
The governor has already requested the Legislature to prevent Chinese government-controlled enterprises from purchasing land in the state and limit their involvement in state universities and technology.
“We don’t want to have holdings by hostile nations,” DeSantis said.
“Why would you want them buying residential developments and things like that? I don’t want them owning subdivisions and things like that,” he said.
“But yes, we do not need to have CCP influence in Florida’s economy.”
During the 2021 legislative session, DeSantis supported measures that toughened penalties for corporate and academic espionage and required higher education institutions to record foreign gifts of $50,000 or more.
“I think we’re going to go even further than that; the Legislature only went so far. I think there’s an appetite to do even more because their influence in our society has been very insidious.”
He referred to COVID-19’s onslaught, during which China supplied the majority of the personal protective equipment needed by the United States.
“Why would you want a hostile nation for things that are integral to our quality of life and security? Of course, you wouldn’t want to do that. But this has been going on for many, many decades, so disentangling from China, I think, is something that is very, very significant going forward,” the governor said.
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