Ron DeSantis: 'Chinese Investors Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Buy Properties in US'
'I don’t think they should be able to do it'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned of reports showing Chinese investors have spent billions of dollars buying U.S. farmland and other real estate.
DeSantis warned about China’s malign influence in the Sunshine State.
DeSantis told Fox News that companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should not be allowed to buy U.S. properties, calling them the United States’s “No. 1 adversary."
“I don’t think they should be able to do it. I think the problem is these companies have ties to the CCP, and it’s not always apparent on the face of whatever a company is doing—but I think it’s a huge problem,” he said.
Chinese investors spent $6.1 billion, more than from any other foreign country, on U.S. homes from April 2021 to March, the National Association of Realtors revealed.
Chinese buyers spent an average of more than $1 million per transaction, which is the highest average among foreign purchases.
California was the top destination for their purchases with 31 percent.
The following locations included:
- New York (10 percent)
- Indiana (7 percent)
- Florida (7 percent)
- Oklahoma (5 percent)
- Missouri (5 percent)
The report also highlighted 58 percent of Chinese buyers made all-cash purchases.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an increasing amount of U.S. farmland is controlled by Chinese buyers
Chinese investors controlled 13,720 acres in the United States as of the end of 2010.
That amount increased to 194,179 acres through Dec. 31, 2020.
“I’ve signed legislation to crack down on undue influence from rogue states, including the CCP,” Desantis said.
“So for example, we ban Confucius Institutes in the state of Florida—they try to go in higher education, and they try to spread the propaganda.”
The legislation banning China’s Beijing-funded Confucius Institutes was signed by DeSantis in June 2021, along with other legislation that made stealing trade secrets a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Florida has “the most robust protections against CCP influence that any state’s done so far,” DeSantis told The Epoch Times at the time.
The two pieces of legislation went into effect on July 1, 2021.
Florida last closed a Confucius Institute in September 2019.
According to the National Association of Scholars, an education advocacy group, there were a total of 18 Confucius Institutes in the United States as of June 21.
Earlier this year, DeSantis took another step to counter the CCP after announcing Florida Job Growth Grand Fund had awarded nearly $10 million to Osceola County and Valencia College to support semiconductor and other advanced technology manufacturing.
“The strategic investments we are making today will help bring microchip and semiconductor manufacturing back to our state at a time when the supply chains are more fragile than ever,” he said in a statement announcing the investment.
“Certainly, we cannot allow this important industry to become captive by the Chinese Communist Party.”
DeSantis also unveiled proposed legislation to push back against China, requiring state agencies, political subdivisions, and public institutions of higher education to report any gift of $50,000 or more from a foreign government.
“We’re also probably going to do legislation next legislative session about our pension investments, with things that may be linked to the CCP,” he said.
“We don’t necessarily have a lot of it, but we want to make sure that we’re cutting ties so that we’re not funding our No. 1 adversary.”