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Chinese EV Company Buys Up Michigan Land for Battery Factory Despite Public Backlash


By: Nick Pope, Daily Caller News Foundation

Gotion, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked electric vehicle (EV) company, announced Tuesday that it has purchased 270 acres to build a battery components factory near Big Rapids, Michigan, despite pushback from locals and conservative officials.

The factory is planned for construction within about 100 miles of a U.S. military facility that has previously hosted Taiwanese military officers receiving training from members of the Michigan National Guard, according to The Detroit News. Locals have voiced their opposition to the factory on account of the security concerns and its planned location on agricultural land, according to The Detroit News.

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Biden administration have thrown their support behind the Gotion plant. Whitmer has hailed the project as a means of cementing Michigan’s status as a “global hub of mobility and electrification.”

Gotion stands to benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal grants and tax incentives for the project, which is estimated to create about 2,300 jobs, according to The Detroit News. Gotion’s top executive is Zhen Li, who as of April was a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, an advisory body to the CCP that seeks to influence and gather intelligence about elite organizations and individuals within and beyond China’s borders, according to an April press release from the Michigan State House Republicans.

The proposed construction site also lies within about 60 miles of military armories, according to FOX News. Concerned Michiganders ripped Whitmer’s April decision to extend taxpayer dollars to the firm, with one civilian saying that the company’s presence in the state represents “a threat to our way of life and our God-given and constitutional freedoms.”

“For our state to welcome CCP investment in Michigan 100 miles from the same facility where the Michigan National Guard has worked with military officials from Taiwan is a dangerous double standard that puts national security at risk,” Republican Michigan Rep. John Moolenaar, who represents the district where Gotion plans to set up shop, said, according to The Detroit News. “This land purchase in Green Township is a step backwards for Michigan and our communities.”

Gotion plans to spend around $2.4 billion to build the new plant, according to The Detroit News. The announced land purchase is a smaller amount of property than the company had initially planned to purchase, according to The Detroit News.

Representatives for Gotion and Whitmer did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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