Ron DeSantis Takes Big Step Against China

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Gov. DeSantis Visits Monroe County by Monroe County BOCC is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t just another political figure who likes to talk.

DeSantis gets results.

It’s no exaggeration to say he’s the most important leader in the conservative movement today.

In fact, DeSantis’ latest legislation takes Trump’s lead by cracking down on communist China and restricting its ability to infiltrate Florida colleges and universities.

Two bills signed on Monday prevent China from stealing Florida’s intellectual property and economic information. 

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DeSantis: China’s ‘Pervasive Influence’ Needs to be Stopped

DeSantis delivered remarks while signing the bills at the National Guard base in Miami. During these remarks, DeSantis said that the Communist Party of China has a “pervasive nefarious influence” all across America and that universities are “permeated” with communist influence.

He also brought up China’s increasing funding of Hollywood films and responsibility for COVID-19, saying that it leaked from a lab. 

Right on both counts. 

The two bills signed by DeSantis are HB 1523 and HB 7017. They directly address problems Florida had in the past. These problems involved Chinese citizens working at Florida universities and using their positions to steal military secrets and information.

The details of HB 7017 require all Florida colleges and universities to tell the state government about any amount of money given to them by people from Venezuela, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. 

If you get money derived from those countries and fail to report it, you will pay back 105% to Florida. 

You also have to tell the state if any company linked to those countries is doing business with your university worth $100,000 or more per year. 

Do the Crime, Pay the Price

As for any universities that sell trade secrets or other tech to China, HB 1523 upgrades this into a second-degree felony (and a first-degree felony if a specific individual tries to do it). 

Florida has been concerned about these issues for some time, as we all should be.

Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls has been looking into it for some time. This comes particularly given what happened in the past when a University of Central Florida employee called Xinzhang Wu stole secrets and ran away to China. 

It’s great to see a politician like DeSantis cracking down on the CCP and more politicians should follow suit. 

In his recent remarks to the North Carolina GOP in Greenville, former President Trump said China should pay $10 trillion in reparations for COVID. Trump then slammed China for their abuse and manipulation of trade. 

China is not our friend. They should not be able to easily send in spies to our universities to steal secrets, make deals, or form partnerships that will ultimately benefit an enemy military.

It’s time to crack down.