In rural Mason, or Mecosta, County, you may hear the idiom "Land o' Goshen!" used as a mild expletive. You're likely to hear a variant of it even more if feckless politicians in Michigan have their way and subsidize an electrical vehicle battery plant in Green Township in Mecosta County.
Last October, Reuters reported a deal had been struck between the State of Michigan and Gotion (aka Guoxuan High Tech or Gotion HT). They noted that Gotion a Chinese-based company was planning on creating a $2.36 billion plant that would provide thousands of jobs, and that the people of Michigan would be on the hook for $715 million of that cost.
Breitbart reported at the time that a Republican-led legislature helped Governor Gretchen Whitmer's efforts putting $846 million into the state’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund for $175 million in this project, $540 million more from the Michigan Strategic Fund through the MEDC on monetizable tax breaks. The final approval came after three local government boards last week unanimously approved the Renaissance Zone request for the project.
MSF Chairman Quentin Messer told the Detroit News that the MSF was actively pursuing the business of the Chinese-linked company. In September, the Whitmer administration refused to disclose how much taxpayer money had been offered to lure Gotion to Michigan.
The company is headed by Li Zhen, a Chinese billionaire with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Zhen is considered the company’s “de facto controller.” He was a member of the 13th, 14th, and 15th National People’s Conference Hefei Committee, a local affiliate of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
According to the Diplomat, “the CPPCC today is a key part of China’s ‘united front’ work, which is designed to liaise with non-Communist Party members — and ultimately see them work with the CCP to advance its interests. According to Moomoo Technologies, at least two of Gotion's Deputy General Managers are currently involved as officials with the CCP.
Republican challenger for the governor, Tudor Dixon, said at the time: “The bottom line on this deal is that Gretchen Whitmer is using Michigan taxpayers’ hard-earned money to line the pockets of a communist-party-tied Chinese Billionaire and prop up his new business venture while choking our own home-grown businesses to death with regulations. Real Michigan businesses need a partner-investor in Lansing. Not a career politician/lawyer cutting bad deals with their Chinese competition.” As more revelations have came out making the connections clearer, Dixon has only got more strident.
The Midwesterner reports recently that in July 2022, Gotion – the Chinese company purchasing 700 acres of property near Big Rapids – published a 94-page document titled, “Articles of Association,” essentially the equivalent of an American company’s bylaws. The document, found on Gotion’s website, lays out the company’s governance structure and allegiance to the “Constitution of the Communist Party of China” in multiple passages. The company’s corporate filing with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs calls Gotion a “foreign profit corporation”, undermining the notion that the company is an American “subsidiary” of the Chinese corporation as some have claimed.
Gotion's gifts from state and local governments in Michigan would rise to $1.14 billion, or about half of the project's costs, this was even after Big Rapids Township voted for a federal review of Gotion’s bid to build on 115 acres in the township in February, citing concerns over the company’s Chinese ownership. Rather than respond to the township’s questions, Gotion refocused its siting plans to 408 acres in Mecosta County’s Green Township.
When pressed, Gotion's local spokesman, Chuck Thelen acknowledged Gotion Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gotion High-Tech, although Gotion Inc. has been headquartered in Fremont, California since 2015. Majority voting rights on the company's board of directors are controlled by the founding shareholders in China. He also acknowledged that building the facility in Mecosta County will begin in the second quarter.
Though state and local politicians have been blinded by the prospect of growth and development in their jurisdiction, the citizens around the county are beginning to fight back against this remarkable giveaway of their common prosperity to what many folks believe is the biggest world threat to our country, the CCP.
More than 100 residents of Green Charter Township and Big Rapids turned up for the March 14 meeting to voice their anger over the plan. They will do so once again on April 5th, perhaps their township's leaders will at least call for a qualified federal review.
The public must attend in mass and let their leaders know that not all growth is good or smart. Why should Michigan citizens be subsidizing CCP businesses with over a billion dollars and suffer the consequences of living in the neighborhood of a potentially dangerous environmental and/or national security incident?
Me too, and since it's a Wednesday evening and not that far away, I just may attend and voice my concerns.
Governor Gretch and Progressive majorities in the state legislatures recently made Michigan more China-like by repealing Right to Work laws in MI, active since 2012, forcing workers in a workplace who would rather not join a union to join a union. Of course, any union at a CCP-ran company like Gotion would be effectively useless in getting a better work environment or higher wages.
XLFD , the second to the last paragraph in the original posting states April 6th , picture states the meeting is on the 5th ? All around the United States the CCP has been buying up land , even next to Air Forces bases. What were those local politicians thinking? Eventually they will be dominant in those areas and will have the say what's going to happen in their area and have a voice in the State. Don 't underestimate the China.
Thanks, I changed it, and you're right about China and everyone should know by now that these highly-subsidized projects, even without commies benefitting, never pay off or meet the lofty goals set, and everybody loses a lot of money, and often competitors in the market without government gifts either give up or go under from the uneven playing field created. Your own government is destroying capitalism, we don't need extra help from the CCP.
BTW, the cowardly lot of trustees from Green Township (where Paris, MI lies) has decided to have the meeting on April 5th go virtual and have made it so that the only viewpoint likely to be put out is propaganda by the CCP-ran company, the MEDC, and other well-paid-off American collaborators. A billion dollars can buy an awful lot of trustees, but it only needs to buy four, so even if 90% of the Green Twp folks have misgivings, you won't see any backbone here.
Did anybody go to the meeting?
When it became a Zoom informational meeting, where the township board would not be present and the Open Meetings Act did not force them to take public comments, the people interested in this had to put their efforts into protests in this area. One of the new developments is one of the township board members looks to be selling quite a bit of land to Gotion likely making many millions, easy to do when over a billion $$ in tax money is given out so freely.
Fucque non-disclosure agreements, he had a duty to the people to tell them exactly what his conflict of interest was and he should be going to jail for not doing so fully. My opinion, and I had the same opinion when our county officials failed to disclose their complete involvement with the wind factory in Riverton and other townships. We need leaders who follow their ethics not open their pocketbooks. If you don't think secret deals are happening in Ludington, enriching city officials with all these corporate giveaways recently you would be wrong and we don't have anybody at city hall or the city council looking out for ethical conduct.
Fox News this morning had a segment and a video of a meeting about the CCP Plant . Good info.coming out of about Chines infiltration of the US.