8th District Washington State Senator, Matt Boehnke (R-Kennewick) introduced two bills that he says would be critical to protecting Washingtonians from threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to spy on Americans, as well as acquire access to land and vital resources within Washington.

According to the senator, there have been questions about how much local and state governments should focus on buying American made products and services for economic reasons.He added that, “What the pandemic and the disruptions in the supply chain have proved is that the United States is reliant on Chinese-made technology to a disturbing degree. Given the increasingly hostile and brazen disregard for international norms displayed by the People’s Republic of China, the continued use of equipment produced by companies aligned with the CCP represents a serious national security threat that must be addressed.”

The first bill, SB 5755, would prohibit any state, or local government agency from purchasing, acquiring, or using unmanned aircraft, or unmanned aircraft system produced by a manufacturer aligned with hostile foreign actors.

One particular section of the bill states that the federal government would be banned from purchasing equipment from certain Chinese vendors due to security concerns. Specifically named companies include, but aren't excluded to Huawei, ZTE, and any surveillance equipment for the purposes of national security from Dahua Technology, Hytera, and Hikvision.

The bipartisan bill would also apply a similar standard to state and local governments, including law enforcement agencies.

The state senator also introduced SB 5754, which is modeled after federal legislation championed by U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-4th District) that would prohibit the purchase of public or private agricultural land in the United States by any foreign national, nonresident alien, foreign business, agent, or trustee associated with the Communists Chinese government.

“The CCP is not content being a competitor; its every action makes it abundantly apparent that they are determined to view us as an adversary, and China intends to win." said Sen. Boenke. The senator has served as the director of the cybersecurity division at Columbia Basin College, in Pasco, since 2015, and owns a cybersecurity consulting firm specializing in data privacy and cyber security.

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