On Monday, GOP Governor DeSantis of Florida announced his signing two foreign influence laws, the first of which stops institutions in his state from partnering with “malignant forces.” These include China, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, and North Korea.
JUST IN – Florida's Gov. DeSantis to sign bills to stop foreign influence by "malignant forces" like China.pic.twitter.com/A7WvJNPD6U
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) June 7, 2021
Making his announcement at a podium with “STOP CCP INFLUENCE” written on it, DeSantis started his comments saying “the goal of these laws are to combat foreign influence and espionage in this state.”
He said the coronavirus cover-up exposed connections between Chinese institutions and bureaucrats in the U.S. that justify such new laws.
“It is very clear that this virus leaked out of a lab. A lab where scientists were working with the CCP as well as the PLA. When you have these people get sick who were working in the lab, the Chinese leaders decided to hide it. They did not reveal any information, they did not ask for assistance. They just covered it up.”
“There is no entity that has a more nefarious influence in American institutions and industries than the government of China,” said DeSantis.
He then mentioned academia, the media, and big tech platforms as other places where China’s influence had a damaging effect.
Confucius Institutes, another way that China exerts influence by partnering with U.S. universities, will be stopped in Florida with the passage of the new law. The bill also ensures that public and government groups within Florida “do not do deals with private companies closely connected to foreign adversaries.”
Any group wanting to participate with universities in Florida, whether corporation, foreign state or individual, will be completely vetted to guarantee “no bad actors” are linked.
The other bill, “The Fighting Corporate Espionage in Florida Act,” creates new punishments for the theft of trade secrets.
“What we are doing is significant, but there is much more to be done to fight the CCP influence in the U.S.,” DeSantis said.
This comes in a line of conservative wins in the state of Florida with DeSantis easily passing laws that are increasing his stature in the GOP.
While Republicans await Trump’s announcement for his 2024 run for office, some are suggesting that DeSantis might be a challenger to the former president.
Author: Blake Ambrose