Gov. DeSantis signs laws to combat Chinese influence at Florida universities

By: | June 8, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two bills into law designed to combat foreign influence in Florida’s universities from countries deemed hostile to the U.S., especially China, and crack down on theft of trade secrets and intellectual property.

“If you look right now, there is no single entity that exercises a more pervasive nefarious influence across a wide range of American industries and institutions than the Communist Party of China,” DeSantis said at a bill signing ceremony at a Florida National Guard facility in Miami. “Academia is permeated with its influence.”

The bills he signed, HB 7017 and HB 1523, were spurred by incidents over the past decade of Chinese nationals working at Florida colleges stealing sensitive materials and designs of military equipment.

Read more from Orlando Sentinel.

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