Gov. DeSantis wants further crackdown on China, ‘malign’ foreign influences | Florida Dispensaries

Gov. DeSantis wants further crackdown on China, ‘malign’ foreign influences

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Thursday prohibiting state agencies from contracting with Chinese-based companies for projects that could allow them to access Floridians’ personal data. It’s part of a broader crackdown on the Chinese government’s attempts to “infiltrate” institutions throughout the country.

DeSantis also said he’ll push the Legislature next year to ban gifts from certain “malign” foreign countries, such as China, Russia, Cuba and Iran, to higher education institutions.

The Legislature last year passed HB 7017, requiring universities and colleges to disclose any gifts worth more than $50,000, but DeSantis wants to go further. Under his proposal, any government agency, including local governments, wouldn’t be able to contract with Chinese-based companies if the contract allows access to personal data.

“This is things like Social Security numbers, it’s things like your bank account information, and it’s things like your medical records,” DeSantis said during an event at Miami-Dade College. “That should not be in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

DeSantis also bashed the tactic of the Chinese government of buying tracts of agricultural land in the U.S., as well as land nearby U.S. military institutions. He said more than 5% of Florida’s agricultural land is foreign-owned, although

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