Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched a comprehensive statewide effort to fight the influence of the CCP.
“For the last decade, the Communist Party of China has been meticulous and deliberate in their infiltration across the globe,” DeSantis said, explaining the CCP’s long-term goals and interests “are antithetical to the basic tenets of the American Republic.”
DeSantis said that the CCP has made a mission of their global expansion of power to steal intellectual property from businesses, government, and academic institutions “all to further fuel their global objectives.”
The Florida Governor stressed the importance of providing strategic safeguards addressing concerns of the CCP, and other foreign powers, influencing the government, as well as academia and the economy.
CCP’S PRIMARY TARGETS
That starts with what DeSantis described as one of the CCP’s “primary targets”: The education system. He briefly touched on the Chinese theft of American research, adding that the U.S. must “eliminate any tolerance of clandestine foreign influence in our schools.”
State agencies, state universities, public schools, and local governments must “never use tax dollars to establish language and culture programs with foreign governments that place the interest of those governments ahead of our own interests,” DeSantis said, mentioning CCP-funded Confucius institutes, specifically.
“With our proposal today, we will ensure that no such organization is able to gain a foothold in a Florida institution of higher education,” DeSantis said.
The proposal will require public institutions of higher education to report any gift of $50,000 more from a foreign government or a foreign person. It will also require “strict vetting” and review processes of foreign applications for important research positions.
Institutions that choose to conceal information, DeSantis warned, will pay 105 percent of the amount and give it to the state of Florida. The attorney general will take action against non-compliant institutions.
“Florida will take a leading role by proposing important steps to address past, current, and future concerns of the Chinese Communist Party and other foreign influence in the governmental, economic, and academic affairs of our state.”
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 1, 2021