Proposed Chinese-owned EV Facility in Michigan Has Residents United in Opposition

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was pleased with herself last October when she announced that Gotion High-Tech, a Chinese EV battery company, was building a plant in Mecosta County. In making the announcement, she said the plant would “strengthen Michigan as the “global hub of mobility and electrification.”

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That may be true. But it didn’t impress residents who appear to be almost universally opposed to the idea. It seems that Gotion’s company by-laws contain a curious stricture: Gotion must carry out “Party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.”

Related: Biden Administration Moved a Lot Faster Against Proud Boys Than Chinese Communists in New York

That didn’t sit well with many local residents, who asked the Michigan Senate Appropriations Committee to vote down the $175 million plan.

“I am gravely disappointed that our representatives are serving the demands of our governor over the request of our citizens. I can attest, however, that our community is now united in ways they would have never been before. They do not want this,” Hannah Saez, the clerk of Big Rapids Township, stated. “Thousands of Michiganders will be watching today. I know you all receive daily emails and phone calls. I know you’re under pressure. I know you’ve probably been coerced. I beg of you to do what is right here even if corruption is knocking at your door.”

Fox News:

During the Michigan state Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, lawmakers led by Democratic state Sen. Sarah Anthony, the panel’s chair, gave final approval of $175 million in taxpayer funding for Gotion — a subsidiary of the Hefei, China-based Gotion High-Tech — to build an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Big Rapids. The measure passed in a tight 10-9 vote with every committee Republican and three Democrats voting against it.

The funding was approved after a period in which members of the public were invited to deliver feedback about the project at the hearing. Nearly all the residents who spoke slammed the proposal and expressed concern about a company based in China developing a factory in their state.

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“I think that any Chinese communist plant buying up 700 acres of Michigan land is a concern to all citizens throughout the state,” Cheryl Vitito declared. “This CCP-controlled company represents communism and is a threat to our way of life and our God-given and constitutional freedoms. We don’t want the CCP here by way of the Gotion plant as they have no regard for the value and dignity of human life.”

In fact, there appeared to be undue haste in ramming this measure through the committee before opposition forces had time to organize.

Kyle Luce, the supervisor of Barton Township, said 85% of his constituents opposed the plant. “Our citizens are concerned with the timeframe that’s going on here,” said Luce. “The timing seems to be sped up exponentially to, in our opinion, try to seal the deal and get this done before people have a chance to speak out, residents have a chance to speak out. And individuals, the fine senators, are digging up information daily about the CCP involvement.”

“I’m angry,” local resident Marjorie Steele snapped. “I’m angry that this vote was slipped into the agenda today with as little information as possible so that people like me wouldn’t know it was happening. I’m angry that you, our elected officials, have ignored my community’s pleas to table this vote until some small semblance of due diligence can be performed. I can promise you that we will not stop at the local level.”

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The Appropriations Committee voted in favor of the proposal 10-9. It now moves on to the full Senate for approval.

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