No one is fighting harder for the American people than Governor DeSantis. As POTUS, DeSantis will take the fight to China. CCP officials will not push DeSantis around as they do President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken.
Today, the State of Florida is taking a stand against communist dictators and bad state actors. We will STOP CCP INFLUENCE in our education system and government by going on offense.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 7, 2021
By Florida Politics, June 7, 2021
‘We’ve got to start fighting back.’
With the phrase “Stop CCP Influence” displayed in bold letters across his podium, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two bills Friday to thwart foreign meddling in Florida’s government and education system.
“There is no single entity that exercises a more pervasive, nefarious influence across a wide range of American industries and institution than the Communist Party of China,” DeSantis said.
Sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Beltran, one measure (HB 1523) creates the crime of “trafficking in trade secrets” and enhances criminal penalties if the secrets are stolen and provided to a foreign government.
The other (HB 7017), sponsored by Republican Rep. Erin Grall, aims to curb foreign influence in the state’s academic research institutions.
Among other provisions, the legislation prohibits agreements between a handful of mostly communist countries and requires “thorough screening” of foreign applicants for research positions.
It would also force state agencies, local governments and colleges and universities to disclose donations and grants from those countries worth $50,000 or more.
Some of the seven prohibited countries include China, Cuba, Russia, North Korea and Venezuela.
“Enough is enough,” DeSantis said while speaking at a National Guard armory with military vehicles in the background. “We’ve got to start fighting back.”
The Republican Governor also blasted Hollywood, the media, Big Tech and “woke corporations.” They are part of the problem, he argued.
“If you’re somebody that will light your hair on fire because Georgia is requiring voter ID but yet you’re lining your pocket with money from China and not a peep about the slave labor that’s going on over there, you my friend are a hypocrite,” DeSantis said.
While critics lambast the bill as a political stunt, proponents point to China’s history of meddling in state and local affairs.
In February, for example, federal authorities indicted a University of Florida researcher who created a company in China that would profit from his taxpayer-funded UF research.
The researcher and Chinese resident, Lin Yang, reportedly concealed support from the Chinese government.
Yang traveled to China in August 2019 and has yet to return to the United States, according to the Department of Justice.
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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