By: Philip Lenczycki, Daily Caller News Foundation
Employees at the Chinese parent company of the U.S.-based Gotion Inc., which intends to build two electric battery plants in Michigan, pledged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) oaths and dressed as Red Army soldiers during company field trips, according to several reports and footage posted on the Chinese battery manufacturer’s website.
In July and August 2021, Gotion High-Tech Power Energy Co. ran multiple company field trips to communist revolutionary memorials in China’s Anhui province, during which employees wore matching Red Army uniforms and swore to “fight for communism to the end of my life,” according to reports and footage on the firm’s website. Gotion Inc. — a California-based company which is “wholly owned and controlled” by Gotion High-Tech, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing — plans to “invest $2.4 billion to construct two 550,000-square-foot production plants” for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in Big Rapids, Michigan, Fox News reported.
Gotion High-Tech employs 923 CCP members, including the firm’s CEO, Li Zhen, the Daily Caller News Foundation recently reported. Gotion High-Tech CEO Li Zhen serves as the party secretary for the firm’s CCP committee, the DCNF reported.
In July 2021, Gotion High-Tech’s internal CCP committee organized a two-day company field trip for 50 employees to visit several communist revolutionary sites in Anhui province, according to the firm’s website.
On the first day of the company field trip, employees wore matching Red Army uniforms and hiked across six miles of mountainous terrain, according to a report on the firm’s website.
The following day, Gotion High-Tech’s field trip visited the Revolutionary Memorial Hall in Huoshan County, Anhui province, where employees collectively pledged the oath of the CCP, footage from the event shows. The Revolutionary Memorial Hall is a landmark dedicated to Huoshan’s history as the Red Army’s base, according to Sohu.com.
“I volunteer to join the CCP, uphold the Party’s platform, observe the provisions of the Party’s by-laws, carry out a member’s duties, carry out the Party’s decisions, strictly observe the Party’s discipline, be loyal to the Party, work hard, to fight for communism as long as I live, be ready at all times to sacrifice everything for the Party and people, and never betray the Party,” the employees pledged while visiting the Revolutionary Memorial Hall, according to footage from the July 2021 event.
In August 2021, Gotion High-Tech held another company outing to Dabie Mountain in Anhui province, in an homage to the CCP’s Long March, according to a report on the firm’s website.
The Long March was a “6,000-mile (10,000-km) historic trek of the Chinese communists, which resulted in the relocation of the communist revolutionary base from southeastern to northwestern China and in the emergence of Mao Zedong as the undisputed party leader,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
During Gotion High-Tech’s August 2021 field trip, employees learned Red Army songs, and, as with the July 2021 outing, also wore matching Red Army uniforms, the report on the battery manufacturer’s website states.
Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supports Gotion Inc.’s plan to build two EV battery plants in Michigan, Fox News reported. The Biden administration gave Gotion’s project the greenlight in June after a months-long national security review.
In April 2023, Hoekstra and Cella sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen.
“[W]e are writing you with grave concern over possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, 22 U.S.C. 611 (FARA), involving the ongoing attempt by parties in the state of Michigan to lobby, advocate, and solicit for the presence of a particular lithium ion battery manufacturer based in the PRC, that maintains ties to the CCP, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPCC), and the United Front Work Development (UFWD), and request you review these engagements and take any appropriate action,” the ambassadors wrote to Olsen.
The UFWD is a CCP “intelligence service” that coordinates so-called “United Front” influence operations, which the CPPCC oversees, according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Gotion High-Tech and Gotion did not respond to multiple requests for comment.