It is not unusual to see a stark divide between voters and those supposedly charged to represent their best interests. Residents of Green Charter Township in northern Michigan are calling the state’s endorsement of a Chinese battery plant in their town a big mistake.
The Michigan Senate this week ignored the interests of rural voters and approved a cool $175 million in taxpayer subsidies for Chinese company Gotion Inc.
Additional incentives for the Chinese firm total an estimated $540 million.
The funding will subsidize the construction of a three million-square-foot facility to produce electric vehicle battery components.
Nothing wrong with that, and Michigan political leaders tout the project as an economic boon. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said it is “the biggest ever economic development project in Northern Michigan and will shore up our status as the global hub of mobility and electrification.”
Supporters tout the $2.3 billion plant as the creator of 2,350 new jobs for the area.
Hundreds protest Chinese-owned electric vehicle battery plant in Michican | Just The News https://t.co/J2MpwcN7YS
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) April 23, 2023
So why the uproar?
Simply put, detractors believe the facility is a national security risk. At a huge rally at an area horse farm last weekend, signs ranged from “No Go on Gotion” and “Don’t Sell Us to China” to “Keep Green Township Green.” There are also widespread concerns over the local environment.
One nearby resident, 64-year-old Dick Clark, declared “I don’t like communism. That’s a big thing.” he added, “I don’t want our rivers to be polluted. I don’t want our air to be polluted. This is beautiful country; I don’t want it torn down.”
The fact that Gotion is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party is a major red flag for most opponents of the project. The company’s bylaws clearly state they are formulated to be in accordance with the “Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CCP).”
Further, Gotion is legally required to “set up a Party organization and carry out Party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.”
State Sen. Lana Theiss (R) noted that the company is legally required to submit to CCP directives, which could easily include espionage and other crimes. She said our own FBI lists these acts as the top priority of the CCP.
She added that if the worst were to happen, it is quite possible that Beijing could weaponize the facility and cause great damage to the region and beyond.