Wednesday, June 26, 2024 | 11:00 AM EDT - 11:30 AM EDT

In May 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB264 (23R) into law, prohibiting Chinese nationals and those from some other countries from purchasing homes and other real estate in Florida. Republican state officials say the law is necessary to combat the influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Lawmakers in several states, including Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, are considering similar restrictions on Chinese citizens owning property. Is the concern that propelled the law legitimate? How does it affect immigration from China? What are some potential consequences for Chinese citizens residing in the United States? What is the impact on the bilateral relationship?

On June 26, 2024, Elizabeth Plantan discussed the impact of Florida’s property law and other state-level laws aimed to restrict Chinese property ownership in the U.S. with Matthew Erie and Mae M. Ngai.


Matthew Erie

Matthew S. Erie

Matthew S. Erie is an associate professor, member of the law faculty, and associate research fellow of the Socio-Legal Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. Professor Erie’s research lies at the intersections of, on the one hand, Anglo-American common law and Asian law and, on the other hand, law and the social sciences. Trained as a lawyer and anthropologist, his work addresses such issues as law and capitalism, global (dis)orders, comparative international law, socio-legal methods and theories, and China. Specifically, he has written on property law, international investment, dispute resolution, international law, Chinese law, and Islamic law, often in a comparative frame. His work has appeared in such journals as the Wisconsin Law Review, Alabama Law Review, American Journal of Comparative Law, Harvard International Law Journal, Yale International Law Journal, and American Ethnologist. Professor Erie is a fellow in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program.

Mei M. Ngai

Mae M. Ngai

Mae M. Ngai is Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and professor of history at Columbia University. She is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in the histories of immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and the Chinese diaspora. She is author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004); The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America (2010); and The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics (2021); and coeditor of Corky Lee’s Asian America: Fifty Year of Photographic Justice (2024). Dr. Ngai has written on immigration history and policy for the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, the Nation, and Dissent. Before becoming a historian, she was a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education. She is now writing Nation of Immigrants: A Short History of an Idea (under contract with Princeton University Press).


Elizabeth Plantan

Elizabeth Plantan

An assistant professor of political science at Stetson University, Elizabeth Plantan has interests that encompass the global study of civil society, authoritarian regimes, and environmental affairs, with a focus on the comparative and international politics of China and Russia. She was a 2022-2023 Wilson Center China fellow in Washington, D.C., and a 2018-2020 China Public Policy Postdoctoral fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research has been published in Comparative Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Russian Politics, among other publications. She has also published op-eds and essays in The New York Times, Washington Post, ChinaFile, and Russian Analytical Digest, and other publications. Dr. Plantan is a fellow with the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Cornell University.