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Hundreds Rally In Michigan Against Chinese-Owned Battery Plant

Graham Perdue
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Hundreds of concerned citizens turned out Saturday to protest the construction of a Chinese-owned battery plant in northern Michigan. Many voiced their concerns about national security and allowing this project on U.S. soil.

Supporters tout the facility as a supplier of jobs for Michigan residents, and legislators recently earmarked $175 million for the plant.

It is planned for Mecosta County’s Big Rapids. 


The funding was approved last week in a close vote by the Senate Appropriations committee. Republicans now see Democratic lawmakers join their ranks and voice concerns over the company’s ties to communist leadership as well as environmental issues. 

That $175 million figure already approved jumps by $540 million when the state’s 30-year plan for a Renaissance Zone is factored in. Additionally, proponents point to the 2,350 new jobs averaging $29.42 per hour as further incentive to proceed with the project. 

However, opponents note that Gotion, the company seeking to build the plant, is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In its corporate documents, it is clearly stated that “the company shall set up a party organization in accordance with the Constitution of the [CCP].”

Michigan Republican chair Kristina Karamo spoke to the Saturday protest and expressed the misgivings of many in the area.


She asked about Beijing’s track record and wondered if anyone believes “they will set up a battery factory in our state and they will just play by the rules.”

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI) noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping created a “military-civil fusion that basically says that anything business-related in China has military implications.” He noted that Beijing reserves the right to glean any useful information from the company.

That fact, Moolenaar said, “puts all these partnerships into question.” 

On the subject of military implications, the proposed site is 100 miles from Camp Grayling. That’s where the Michigan National Guard is training members of Taiwan’s military.

Gotion’s proposed plant is set to produce cathodes and anodes as part of the global green energy push. These are key components in electric vehicles’ all-important batteries and the push by the Biden White House to move the nation away from fossil fuels.

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