Hundreds protest Chinese factory project in Michigan

  • A Michigan Senate committee approved $175 million for the Gotion factory
  • Hundreds of residents are protesting the project due to security concerns
  • Proponents of the project say it will bring in thousands of jobs

(NewsNation) — Hundreds of protestors in northern Michigan rallied to push back against the construction of a electric vehicle battery plant by the Chinese-owned company Gotion, due to fears of national security risks.

“Xi Jinping has put himself in charge of the military civil fusion that basically says that anything business-related in China has military implications, and they reserve the right to extract that information. So, it really puts all these partnerships into question,” said U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Mich.

The plant is set to be built 100 miles from Camp Grayling, where the Michigan National Guard is training the Taiwanese military.

Michigan GOP chair Kristina Karamo was one of many speakers at Saturday’s protest, asking, “How many abuses have we seen over the years from China? And to think that they will set up a battery factory in our state and they will just play by the rules? That makes no sense whatsoever.”

A clause in corporate documents acquired by NewsNation states, “the company shall set up a party organization and carry out party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.”

The $2.4 billion Gotion project, which is planned on a large site in Mecosta County’s Big Rapids, would create 2,350 jobs with average wages of $29.42 per hour, according to the company’s proposal. A 30-year Renaissance Zone was approved by the state last year and will save the company an additional estimated $540 million. The factory will produce cathodes and anodes, two components that are key to electric vehicle batteries.

A Michigan Senate committee approved the allocation of $175 million in state funds to a battery plant by Chinese manufacturer Gotion. Proponents say the factory will create thousands of jobs and build the economy.

The funds were approved in a narrow vote Thursday by the Senate Appropriations committee after multiple Democratic lawmakers sided with Republicans following concerns over Gotion’s foreign ties and the plant’s potential environmental impacts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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