Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned about China’s malign influence in the Sunshine State after reports showed Chinese investors having spent billions of dollars buying U.S. farmland and other real estate.
Calling China the United States’ “number-one adversary,” DeSantis told Fox News on July 23 that companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shouldn’t be allowed to buy U.S. properties.
“I don’t think they should be able to do it. 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,” DeSantis said.
Foreign buyers from China spent $6.1 billion on U.S. homes from April 2021 to March 2022, more than those from any other foreign country, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors (pdf).
Chinese buyers spent an average of over $1 million per transaction—the highest average among foreign purchases—and up from the $710,400 average the year before. California was the top destination for their purchases with 31 percent, followed by New York (10 percent), Indiana (7 percent), Florida (7 percent), Oklahoma (5 percent), and Missouri (5 percent).
The report also pointed out that 58 percent of Chinese buyers made all-cash purchases, the third highest behind Canadians (69 percent) and Colombians (65 percent).
More and more U.S farmlands are under the control of Chinese buyers. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Chinese investors controlled 13,720 acres in the United States as of the end of 2010. That amount has increased to 194,179 acres through Dec. 31, 2020.
DeSantis also said he has taken steps to address some of China’s influence in Florida.
“I’ve signed legislation to crack down on undue influence from rogue states, including the CCP,” he said. “So for example, we ban Confucius Institutes in the state of Florida—they try to go in higher education, and they try to spread the propaganda.”
By Frank Fang