Michigan's Troubling Partnership: Taxpayer Dollars Funneled to Chinese Communist Party-Linked Company

Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP

It appears Michigan’s government has quite a relationship with the Chinese government – or at least companies aligned with it. The state’s legislature just signed off on a project that would give millions of taxpayer dollars to an initiative to established a company in the state that is proudly aligned with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Over the protests of the community in which the company will be established, the government decided to move forward with this project.

A Michigan Senate committee has granted final legislative approval to provide $175 million in state funds for an electric vehicle manufacturing factory planned by Chinese company Gotion in northern Michigan, according to a Fox News report. Supporters say that the factory will create thousands of jobs and benefit the local economy. The funds were approved in a close vote after some Democratic lawmakers joined Republicans, despite concerns over the company’s foreign ties and the potential environmental impacts of the plant.

The $2.4 billion Gotion project, slated for Mecosta County’s Big Rapids, aims to create over 2,300 jobs and produce components for electric vehicle batteries. However, critics have raised concerns about Gotion’s connections to the Chinese Communist Party, citing national security issues. However, Gotion has undergone a voluntary review by the Department of Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which determined that the proposed transaction did not require further review, so I suppose everything is hunky-dory, right?

The funding was approved despite public outcry during the hearing, where residents expressed their concerns about a Chinese-based company developing a factory in Michigan. Many residents slammed the proposal, questioning why a foreign company was being considered when there were American companies willing to undertake the project.

Residents criticized the committee for rushing the vote and providing little notice for the hearing. Others raised fears about the Chinese government’s broader plan and accused the company of representing communism and posing a threat to national security due to its allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party.

“Why are we even considering — why would the county, the township, the state of Michigan even consider a Chinese-based company if, in fact, there is an American company willing to build this type of plant,” said Russ Jennings during the hearing.

Marjorie Steele, a resident of Big Rapids, said she was “angry” at the officials for rushing the approval process along without residents being properly informed.

“I’m angry. 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,” she said. “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,” Steele added. “We are tired of being abused and we are not alone. This is not just a Mecosta County issue. Townships and counties across the state are uniting, sharing resources, manpower, and grassroots activism. Your votes today, senators, are lines drawn in the sand.”

Cheryl Vitito speculated that this project could be part of an overall CCP effort to “overthrow the United States without firing a shot.”

“I think that any Chinese communist plant buying up 700 acres of Michigan land is a concern to all citizens throughout the state,” she asserted. “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.”

“This company pledges allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party and should be determined as a threat to our national security,” said resident Shirley Schaefer.

Chuck Thelen, Gotion’s vice president for North American operations assured residents earlier this month about the company’s intentions. “Despite what any current politician might say, there is no communist plot within Gotion to make Big Rapids a center to spread communism,” he said.

However, other reports suggest that Schaefer was correct in her comments about the company’s allegiance to the CCP. The Midwesterner reported in March that Gotion’s bylaws say it will “set up a Party organization and carry out Party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.”

In its adherence to the CCP, the company’s bylaws say it will “Ensure and supervise the implementation of the Party’s guidelines, principles and policies in the Company, and implement major strategic decisions of the CPC (Communist Party of China) Central Committee and the State Council as well as relevant important work arrangements of the Party organization at the higher level.”

As per the document, the company will “guarantee and oversee the implementation of the Party’s guidelines, principles, and policies within the Company, and execute significant strategic decisions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, as well as relevant directives from higher-level Party organizations.”

Essentially, the company will operate in alignment with the Chinese Communist Party. Sounds terrific, doesn’t it?

Again, as one of the residents said, one has to wonder why Michigan’s government would be so gung-ho about working with a Chinese-aligned company when there are plenty of American entities that could fill the same role. After all, when choosing between an American organization and a company that is openly in league with one of the country’s biggest geopolitical opponents, shouldn’t the choice be an easy one?

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