LANSING, Mich. — The China-based parent company of Gotion Inc., the subsidiary receiving hundreds of millions of Michigan tax dollars and incentives to construct an electric vehicle battery plant near Big Rapids, self-reported employing 923 members of the Chinese Communist Party, including the CEO.
Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, has adamantly opposed the project, which is set to receive $872 million in state and local incentives. The senator said the deal presents multiple threats on multiple fronts, from environmental endangerment, risks to public health and safety, as well as state and national sovereignty and security concerns.
A recent Daily Caller report indicated Gotion High-Tech Power Energy Co. made the admission of the company’s affiliation in the their 2022 ESG report. U.S.-based Gotion Inc. is identified as “wholly owned and controlled” by Gotion High-Tech in its Foreign Agents Registration Act filing, while also claiming not to be controlled by any foreign principal (defined in part as a business principally organized under the laws of a foreign country) in the same document.
“Gotion’s deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party has been a known problem since this project came to light,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “The company clearly does not shy away from its CCP affiliations, yet those involved with the U.S.-based subsidiary, some members of the Legislature and the Whitmer administration continue to downplay its communist connections. While people with a vested interest in the battery plant’s approval may not care, many more Michiganders do care — especially those living near the site of the proposed battery plant.
“There is no way a wholly owned subsidiary of another company is allowed to have a fundamentally different perspective on the world. The CCP isn’t known for its tolerance of differing viewpoints, after all. Gotion has deep ties to the CCP and has for years, as it plainly acknowledges. The previous CEO, Chen Li, is now the president of Gotion Global and Gotion High-Tech, as well as a member of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, a central part of the CCP’s united front system, creating strategy to advance the CCP’s influence. His father, Chairman Seven General Manager of Gotion High-Tech, holds a leadership position in the CCP. Meanwhile, the adversarial relationship between the U.S. and the CCP continues to deteriorate.
“As I have said, the existential threat of armed conflict between the U.S. and China should be reason enough to deny this project, given Gotion’s deep connection to the CCP. As a Chinese company, Gotion must submit to CCP directives, which could include espionage and intellectual property theft — acts that the FBI deems its top counterintelligence priority. The fact that the plant is going to be located so closely to Camp Grayling — our country’s largest national guard military training facility — only adds to the severity of the decision.
“The Gotion plant threatens our state and national sovereignty and security, the environment, and public health and safety, while essentially costing the company nothing in return. Its looming disaster is a risk too great to ignore. I once again call on the Whitmer administration to cancel the deal.”