State leaders eye Chinese influence in state retirement system

The move marks DeSantis's latest effort to distance Florida from China.

Florida is reassessing its exposure to foreign Chinese influence under a plan announced Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The plan calls on the State Board of Administration to audit all Florida Retirement System investments and investigate its holdings in Chinese companies.

Alongside Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody, the trio lambasted the Chinese government and described the relationship as a threat to national and economic security.

DeSantis is further urging the Legislature to pass laws that may bar investments into Chinese corporations.

“I would like the SBA to survey the investments that are currently being done,” DeSantis said. “When the Legislature comes back they can make statutory changes to say that the Communist Party of China is not a vehicle that we want to be entangled with. I think that would be something that would be very, very prudent. I also think that our country as a whole, but certainly Florida, would like to see more production and manufacturing re-shored and we would be a great place to do that.”


The audit marks DeSantis’ latest aggression against Chinese influence, an issue of ongoing debate at both the federal and state level. In June, DeSantis signed a slew of measures, including two aiming to curb intellectual theft and the trafficking of trade secrets.

“For far too long, the communist regime in China has attempted to infiltrate our financial and educational institutions,” said Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez. “I applaud Gov. DeSantis’ efforts that will curb China’s investment in industries critical to our national security and protect Floridians from the dangers posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

Patronis, who acts as the state’s purse-keeper, pointed to China’s growing grip on the nation as reason enough for the state-level divorce. They, Patronis said, are a prominent influence in Hollywood and Washington. Patronis also blasted the nation’s ongoing supply chain issues and China’s unwillingness to investigate the origins of COVID-19.

Federal leaders, he added, have been silent far too long about the relationship.

“I take my fiduciary responsibilities seriously and I think the SBA needs to start asking harder questions when it comes to whether investing any more in China is a good idea,” Patronis said. “It seems limiting our exposure to China is not only good for our country, but it is the financially prudent thing to do for our state.”

DeSantis and state leaders have become increasingly critical of foreign influence and “woke corporations.” In October, he lashed out at corporations during an annual meeting of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He vowed to fight companies that use corporate power to advance political ideologies.

Moody too has gone on the offensive, asserting Florida’s relationship with the Chinese government is a risk.

“Chinese government control and influence over businesses operating in China should be a source of concern for anyone investing there,” Moody said.

A video of the State Board of Administration meeting is available online.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Alex

    December 20, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    Aaaahhh yes, the famous pathological need for conservatives to have enemies, and invent them when they don’t exist.

    I remember when Sharia Law was the big talking point in GOP circles, and they said it would come and replace our constitution unless we voted for them.

    Only the players change, not the play.

    • Evan Miller

      December 21, 2021 at 10:40 am

      Alex must have Chinese ties. Like all of the other liberals in politics.

      • zhombre

        December 21, 2021 at 3:31 pm

        China funds the Lincoln Project and PeterH gets his marching orders from them.

        • Mateo

          December 21, 2021 at 4:51 pm

          Trump and Kushner were dems in 2010 and Lincoln Project were 100% GOP. If you think any of this is about “stopping socialism”, you are one thick patsy.

        • Alex

          December 21, 2021 at 5:21 pm

          Thank you both for proving my point, and the idiotic lies just reinforce it.

          • zhombre

            December 21, 2021 at 5:42 pm

            You have no point. You’re nothing but noise.

        • Alex

          December 21, 2021 at 5:50 pm

          I enjoy watching you make an ass of yourself.

          More please.

    • Swamp Dog

      December 21, 2021 at 7:10 pm

      Do you seriously believe China is not our enemy?? Boy, are you deluded.

      • Alex

        December 21, 2021 at 7:36 pm

        I think they’ve been stealing intellectual property from us for years and stopping that is what needs to be done.

        The rest of it is 90% sabre rattling over Taiwan.

        Of course we have to plan for the eventuality of a half assed invasion there, but that also will keep the peace because they know with our allies there the odds of them net gaining is very small.

        But to imagine they’re working with democrats or funding anti-trump conservatives is paranoid, childish nonsense to trigger fear.

        Just like the “Obama is a muslim” garbage, and Sharia Law horseshit I used to make the point.

        • Tom

          December 22, 2021 at 8:00 am

          I “think they’ve stolen intellectual property” says Alex the sedated recovering socialist. Call Swawell, he got paid and delivered. Fang fang, bang bang.

          Sista, you can’t play with me. But I did get you hooked up. You Manchurians are funny.

          Schiff and Pelosi stopped the resolution to investigate into Swawell. Fact!! What a joke.

          Thank God DeSantis, America’s Gov is the whiz kid, whizzing on all you Manchurians daily. Enjoy

  • Tom

    December 20, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Very good move.
    You can’t count on Dems, Pelosi, Schiff, Swawell have proven that on China.
    America’s Governor.

    • Sister Catherine, St. Deneuve Academy of Hope and Fashion

      December 21, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      Can you give us examples — specific examples — of just exactly how “Dems, Pelosi, Schiff, Swawell have proven that on China,” Tom? That would really bolster your attempt to argue against Alex’s point. Notice how Alex gave an example regarding Sharia Law? You see, that was a specific example. If you don’t offer specific examples, it makes it look like you have none to offer and that your claim is bullshit, excuse my French. You so often just use your space here to piss in the wind, bless your tinkled heart.

      • Tom

        December 22, 2021 at 7:52 am

        Sista, how was the big one? Did u get fulfilled. You def needed one.
        LMAO. You needed to recoup and you have decided to come out and play. U can’t with me but try,

        First problem is u quoting Alex, he is in a sedated state now but still deep end. It’s a known fact in Michigan and other Midwestern states sharia law is promoted in communities. Are you two organized sympathizers? Sorry to burst the hot water bottle next to your xxxx but just the fact.

        As for your continued nonsense Sista, it’s a known fact that Swawell has been bought and paid for by fang, fang, bang, bang as local elected pol and liaison now as member of Congress. He should be removed from House Intel comm but shifty “scum” Schiff and madam speaker covered up the resolution to investigate.

        Last week Sen Wyden stopped Rubio’s Unghyr resolution on behalf of China and corporatists. I don’t want to get to deep for you and all the Manchurian tom a tons. Kerry is totally China along with Dums, apparently you and Alex too.

        Come on Sista, admit it, it felt good taking my advice last week.
        This potus is a train wreck with Harris giggles. They still don’t have Covid tests? No FDA commish still? 40 yr inflation and producer price index highs. Debacles abroad. Trump gifted 3 vaccines, and monoclonals. Biden cut Florida’s allotment vs America’s Gov.

        Thank God we have America’s Gov, DeSantis , wins bigly Nov 22.
        Florida Govs mansion to WH, DC. Lastly, 50 seat House swing, 6 Senate seats. Just saying, cause I know.

        I suffer all you Manchurians easily and with Christmas joy!!

    • nail

      December 21, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      Don’t worry desantis does love those Russians like his gxd.

  • Tony Peppers

    December 21, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Damn, if only they hadn’t tried to cut expenses and help their hedge fund manager friends out by forcing state employees off of traditional retirement plans and into these jacked up investment plans.

    Oh well, who could’ve seen this coming, amirite?

  • David Kenney

    December 21, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Once again Deathsantis takes on an issue controlled by Federal regulation, in hopes of highlighting his national presence. You may or may not disagree with pension investments into Chinese properties, but make no mistake. This is Ronnie’s continuation to make Biden look bad. The Republicans for years have tried to kill off the FRS.

  • Mateo

    December 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Hard to think of anything more hilarious than DeSantis being “distant” from Cindy Yang and the Miami/CCP spy team behind Trump’s media SPAC.

    The only thing easier than laundering foreign influence through the Ballard front door is greasing it up through Friends of Ron via the backdoor.

    • Tom

      December 22, 2021 at 8:42 am

      Earth to San Mateo, beam me up.
      Earth to San Mateo, beak me up.
      You are off your rocker.
      Now I know who you are, you are Nikki frauds, secret spy agent. LOL, oh yeah she only hires women. LOL.
      You got nothing. I mean really nothing. Scurrilous garbage picker you are.

      • Mateo

        December 22, 2021 at 11:19 am

        Nikki is part of the Trulieve mafia, via her husband.

        I don’t care who is gov of FL, I just want the mafia out of national politics, and it is mostly based in the FLGOP.

        DJT can mock Tish, and you can mock me, put the pile of bodies taken out by the russian mob is hard to hide. There will be more as Greenberg gets close to the Big Reveal episode. Well, multi-party episode. Many reveals.

        • Tom

          December 22, 2021 at 6:36 pm

          I can honestly say for the first time ever I have no reply.

Comments are closed.


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