Gov. DeSantis trashes Senate proposal to ‘unwind’ crackdown on Chinese land purchases
Photo by Jacob Ogles.

He called being challenged in court a 'model' for other states.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is voicing suspicion about Senate legislation that could reverse restrictions for some Chinese individuals to buy land.

Asked by Florida Politics about the bill (SB 814), the Governor said he wouldn’t tolerate a full backtrack on a Chinese crackdown he has frequently touted.

“What I see going on now is an attempt to unwind what we’ve done to protect Floridians against the threat posed by China,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis last year signed a law prohibiting Chinese nationals from buying land near military bases and critical infrastructure. But legislation sponsored by Sen. Clay Yarborough, a Jacksonville Republican, now includes language that would allow individuals living in China to buy land for residential development, so long as individuals are making the purchase and not the Chinese government.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo’s Office stressed that the legislation doesn’t completely undo actions taken last year.

“The amendment does not reverse the prohibition. It clarifies/further defines domicile and controlling interest,” reads an email from Katherine Betta, Passidomo’s spokesperson.

But DeSantis, who called the Chinese Communist Party the most immediate foreign threat to U.S. interests, made his disapproval clear.

“What we did has actually been a model,” DeSantis said. “Other kinds of other states are moving this direction. We already survived in federal district court. And I know the appeals court said some of the people that had had these transactions prior to the bill taking effect. But going forward, we think it’s good.”

A U.S. District Appeals Court in February blocked enforcement of the law against individuals who already had purchases pending when the law went into effect, as reported by Reuters.

DeSantis did not completely shut the door to updating the statute, but also did not sound receptive to the version in the Senate now.

“I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I think what they’re trying to do is unwind what we did, and I’m going to stand firm for what we’ve already done,” he said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Incels of floridumb

    February 22, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    Whites are racist

    • Jimmy Jones

      February 23, 2024 at 3:07 pm

      Lots of races are racist…

  • Joe Dirt

    February 23, 2024 at 3:07 pm

    Desantis is a stain on the state of Florida and we will all be better off when he is gone.

  • Lawrence DeRose

    February 26, 2024 at 9:40 am

    DeSantis continues in failing to coordinate his policies with the Federal Government, GOP, and Democrats. This is the divisive conduct by the far right that is causing decay of morale in the USA, not to mention worldwide respect.

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