WASHINGTON, D.C. (FLV) – U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-FL, spoke with FBI Director Christopher Wray at a hearing bringing to center attention the Chinese Communist Party engaging in “uncoordinated ‘law enforcement’ actions” in the United States.
“The United States CANNOT allow the Chinese Communist Party to set up shop in our country and monitor Americans,” Scott tweeted. “It’s a matter of national security, and I’m getting to the bottom of it.”
China recently became under fire for creating “police stations” to target dissidents of the ruling CCP. PBS reports they established “dozens” of these police stations in other countries aside from the U.S. to “harass dissidents.”
“They don’t have any right to be here, right?” Scott asked Wray.
“I can tell you from an FBI perspective, I’m deeply concerned about this and I’m not gonna just let it lie,” Wray replied.
“Do you think you have the ability to shut them down?” Scott asked Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Mayorkas said he would have to defer to the Department of Justice on addressing the CCP’s operating police stations in the U.S.
Scott pressed Wray on whether he knows if the Chinese are spying on American citizens, to which Wray could not provide a clear answer due to ongoing investigations.
“The Chinse government, under the pretext of going after ‘corruption’ have essentially used that as a vehicle to surveil [dissidents],” Wray said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said China has not done anything wrong: “Chinese public security authorities strictly observe the international law and fully respect the judicial sovereignty of other countries.”
China has been seen as an increasing threat to the U.S. in the last few decades. More recently in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis spearheaded efforts to ban China from purchasing Floridian farmland and real estate.
“I don’t think they should be able to do it,” he said. “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.”
In June, DeSantis signed laws that targeted the CCP’s influence in the state’s businesses and schools. The new laws increased penalties for corporate espionage for foreign regimes/companies and banned ‘Confucius Institutes,’ which are funded by China, off of Florida college campuses.
“We’re also probably going to do legislation next legislative session about our pension investments, with things that may be linked to the CCP. 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,” DeSantis continued.
Late 2021, DeSantis railed against Chinese influence in Florida, calling out corporations’ “groveling apologies” when faced with CCP opposition.
“Go back a generation, and the idea of the American elites was, ‘If we allow China into the WTO and give them the most favored nation status, that will make China more like us.’ This experiment has failed and it has endangered our nation’s national and economic security.”
Wilton Simpson, who won his election to be Florida’s next Agriculture Commissioner, continued the rhetoric, telling Florida’s Voice one of his top priorities will be going after foreign enemies like China.
Simpson said he will work hard on “outlawing the idea that our foreign enemies can buy real estate in the state of Florida, farmlands and ag lands – we’re also putting a bill together that’s gonna address this issue with credit card companies trying to identify people within the state that buy guns or ammunition and things of that nature.”
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