Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, along with the state’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody, held a meeting Monday of the State Board of Administration (SBA) to “take action against communist China and woke corporations.”

As stated in a press release by the governor’s office, the meeting was an attempt t0, “revoke all proxy voting authority that has been given to outside fund managers, to clarify the state’s expectation that all fund managers should act solely in the financial interest of the state’s funds, and to conduct a survey of all of the investments of the Florida Retirement System to determine how many assets the state has in Chinese companies.”

DeSantis stated in the release, “If you look at how these major companies behave when faced with Chinese disapproval, they censor what the CCP tells them to censor and we see groveling apologies. … Go back a generation, and the idea of the American elites was, ‘If we allow China into the WTO and give them 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.”

Further highlighting the state’s attempt at investigating and exposing Chinese investments in Florida, he stated, “I would like the SBA to survey the investments that are currently being done. When the legislature comes back, they can make statutory changes to say that the Communist Party of China is not a vehicle that we want to be entangled with. I think that that would be something that would be very, very prudent. I also think that our country as a whole, but certainly Florida would like to see more production and manufacturing re-shored and we would be a great place to do that.”

As for the actions taken against woke corporations – which DeSantis’ office suggests are influenced by Chinese investments – the governor’s press release states that, “retaking control of the state pension fund’s proxy voting from outside fund managers who may pursue social ideologies inconsistent with the state’s values or the financial interests of the states investments, …will further strengthen Florida’s fiscal footing, and signal to those in corporate America who prop up a genocidal, authoritarian, imperialist regime that they will not do so with Floridians’ money.”

During Monday’s meeting, Patronis commented on how the pandemic and the supply chain crisis put into perspective how much the country as a whole relied on China:

“Unfortunately, between COVID and the supply chain issues, we’ve seen how reliant our country has become on China. I take my fiduciary responsibilities seriously, and I think the SBA needs to start asking harder questions when it comes to whether investing anymore in China is a good idea. It seems limiting our exposure to China is not only good for our country, but it is the financially prudent thing to do for our state.”

Moody echoed both DeSantis and Patronis, stating, “Chinese government control and influence over businesses operating in China should be a source of concern for anyone investing there, … As fiduciaries, we should understand these risks and ensure they are being evaluated by the Florida Retirement System.”

This move by DeSantis is the latest set of actions taken towards combating what his office called, “woke corporate ideology and malign foreign influence.”

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “China” by Tomas Roggero. CC BY 2.0.