Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis said that people and businesses with alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party should not be allowed to buy American real estate.
The National Association of Realtors last week reported that Chinese investors spent $6.1 billion on American real estate over a 12-month period that ended in March. That represented the most money spent by a foreign country.
Almost 6 out of 10 (58%) of Chinese buyers made all-cash purchases.
For the 14th straight year, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers, accounting for 24% of all international purchases.
DeSantis, while appearing Friday on Fox News, said Chinese investors tied to the communist government should be denied the ability to purchase U.S. real estate.
"I don't think they should be able to do it," DeSantis told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
"I think the problem is these companies have ties to the CCP, and it's not always apparent on the face of whatever a company is doing — but I think it's a huge problem," he said.
DeSantis, considered a possible contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, said Florida has banned Chinese "Confucius Institutes," which he said allow CCP influence and propaganda into the state's higher education system.
"We don't necessarily have a lot of it, but we want to make sure that we're cutting ties so that we're not funding our No. 1 adversary," said DeSantis, who's up for reelection in November.
"We're also probably going to do legislation next legislative session about our pension investments, with things that may be linked to the CCP," he added. "We don't necessarily have a lot of it, but we want to make sure that we're cutting ties so that we're not funding our number-one adversary."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2019 said that Chinese-linked entities owned at least 192,000 acres of farmland worth more than $1.9 billion.
Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., earlier this month wrote a letter to the Biden administration demanding that officials review a Chinese company's purchase of North Dakota farmland just about 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base.
The base houses sensitive drone technology, and lawmakers have expressed concern about potential espionage by Beijing.
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