Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that he plans to keep Communist China from buying land in his state.
According to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), China has purchased over 1.2 million acres of land in the United States. Within the system of government in China, all organizations fall under the control of the Chinese Communist Party.
The purchases within the United States are largely done through corporations with ties to the CCP. For example, a giant windfarm is being built on land that was purchased by a Chinese firm with known close ties to the CCP. This windfarm is 70 miles south of an Air Force base in southwest Texas.
In totality, the majority of land purchased by Chinese-linked firms have been primarily farmland.
DeSantis has brought attention to this going issue in the West saying, “When they have interests that are opposed to ours and you see how they’ve wielded their authority, especially with President Xi, who’s taken a much more Marxist turn since he’s been ruling China, is not in the best interests of Florida to have the Chinese Communist Party owning farmland, owning land close to military bases.”
While the majority of arguments against allowing China-backed firms from owning property have been centered upon the issue of farmland and food production, DeSantis took the conversation further saying he stands against China owning residential housing developments.
DeSantis said, “My view is, okay, yeah, no farmland, but why would you want them buying residential developments or things like that? I don’t want them owning subdivisions or things like that.”
The problem of Chinese-backed companies owning property in the United States has largely to do with the fact that these purchases are conducted through holding companies. This shields the purchases from appearing to be a direct transaction with the CCP. However, the current policies surrounding such policies leave officials with limited legal mechanisms with which they can scrutinize (at least) or prohibit (at best) these types of purchases.
DeSantis made commented on how these obscure purchases do little for the State of Florida, and only benefits China gaining more influence in the state. “The issue’s going to be if someone comes in and buys, it’s not the CCP that’s signing that. These are holding companies. You’ve got to structure laws in a way that will effectively police it. But yes, we do not need to have CCP influence in Florida’s economy,” he said.
DeSantis said he hopes other industries within the US will move away from China, highlighting how the CCP has been actively engaged in pro-communist propoganda. He said, “And it hurts us. It hurts our economic vitality. It hurts our security.
He went on to say, “But this has been going on for many, many decades, so disentangling from China. I think it’s something that is very, very significant going forward,” he added.