GREEN CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NewsNation) — A shocking twist is unfolding in the push to build a Chinese-owned factory in the heart of the Midwest as the company is now delaying a rezoning application, and backlash from Michigan residents may be the reason.
The company, Gotion Inc., is planning to spend more than $2 billion to purchase a large amount of land and build a plant in rural Michigan. Since most of the land is currently used for farming, Gotion was in the process to re-zone it from agricultural to industrial.
A process that is now delayed.
“Our decision will not affect our anticipated timetable, and Gotion will continue to work diligently with local residents, township and county officials, and other key stakeholders to ensure the project’s success,” a statement from the company read in part.
According to Gotion, the proposed plant would cost $2.4 billion and would bring more than 2,000 jobs to Green Charter Township. But many residents are concerned over Gotion’s ties to China and the Communist Party.
“Everybody is entitled to an opinion. And guess what China’s is: They don’t like us,” one resident told NewsNation.
Another concern, residents say, is that the plant would be only about 100 miles from Camp Grayling — where members of the Michigan National Guard are currently training Taiwanese troops.
Ultimately, the decision is up to the township’s board.
China buying up land in the U.S. is not a new phenomenon, but it has skyrocketed recently. Over the last five years, Chinese ownership of American land has shot up 55% according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Chinese entities now own more than 383,000 acres of U.S. farmland.
The entire city of Los Angeles is about 321,000 acres.
Currently, a bipartisan bill making its way through Congress would ban foreign adversaries from buying American farmland, and similar bills are being considered in 11 state legislatures across the country.