Communities in rural Michigan are rioting against a decision to allow a Chinese-owned company to build a battery plant in the area, according to footage from a recent Green Charter Township board meeting obtained by conservative outlet The Midwesterner.
More than 100 residents of Green Charter Township and Big Rapids in rural Mecosta County, Michigan, came to the March 14 rally to express concern over the presence of Chinese company Gotion Global amid growing concerns over national security issues related to China.
“What drives some of this the most crazy is that this is a Chinese-owned company. A Chinese-owned company is a communist company. Why bring a communist company to Big Rapids, Michigan, when we have troops mobilizing right ? now to fight China?” one resident, who identified himself as a veteran of the Iraq War, told city board members.
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“Why should we invite the enemy to come and spy on us? All things here are bad, but what drives me mad the most is that it is our enemy, not the Chinese people. I have nothing against the Chinese people because they suffer from the same communism you’re all trying to bring here. It’s disgusting.”
Other residents echoed that sentiment, warning not to give China a chance to extend its “tentacles” further into the US and arguing that there should be “US companies on US soil”.
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, who narrowly lost to Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer last year, is one of the harshest critics of allowing a Chinese-owned company to build in Michigan.
“The residents speaking out against the communist Chinese battery plant in Big Rapids were clear, focused, and to the point. Township leaders would do well to listen to them and heed their concerns. National security over the promise of jobs!” she wrote on Twitter after the town meeting.
“I support residents fighting back against having a 700-acre Chinese battery factory in their backyard that could easily be used as a base for spying on Americans. No Gotion in Michigan!”
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Tudor Dixon, the Republican gubernatorial candidate from Michigan, speaks with supporters and volunteers at the Lenawee County GOP office on November 7, 2022 in Adrian, Michigan. (Sarah Rice/Getty Images)
Michigan lawmakers also approved $585 million in state funding to build the plant, along with two others, which would produce batteries for electric vehicles. The plant was approved for construction by a state economic development board and was originally planned to be built on land in both Big Rapids and Green Charter Township.
According to a report from The Detroit News.
Earlier this month, the company said the factory was “not a foregone conclusion,” citing backlash from local residents.
Community members gather at a Green Charter Township board meeting on March 14, 2023 to express their anger at plans a Chinese company has to build a battery factory. (Esteban Clark-Braendle)
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Not all community members are against the project. Some of his supporters have touted the thousands of jobs that would be brought to the area if the plant were built.
Green Charter Township will meet again on April 5 with the proposed plant on the agenda.
Brandon Gillespie is an associate editor at Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_cg.