Rural Michigan communities revolt over plans to build Chinese-owned factories nearby: ‘It’s disgusting’

Rural Michigan communities are rebelling against a decision to allow a Chinese-owned company to build a battery factory in the area, according to footage of a recent Green Charter Township board meeting made available to 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 meeting to voice their concerns about the presence of the Chinese-owned company Gotion Global amid growing concerns about national security issues surrounding it to voice China.

“What drives some crazy the most is that this is a Chinese-owned company. A Chinese-owned company is a communist company. Why would you bring a communist enterprise to Big Rapids, Michigan, when we have troops mobilizing properly? fighting China now?” a resident who identified himself as an Iraq war veteran told city officials.


“Why should we invite the enemy to spy on us? All the things here are bad, but what drives me the most crazy is that it’s our enemy, not the Chinese people. I have nothing against the Chinese people because you suffer from the same communism you are all trying to bring here. It’s disgusting.”

Other residents shared this sentiment, warning against allowing China to extend its “tentacles” further into the US, arguing that there should be “American companies on American soil.”

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, who narrowly lost to Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer last year, has been one of the harshest critics of allowing a Chinese-owned company to build in Michigan.

“The local residents speaking out against the communist Chinese battery factory Big Rapids were clear, focused and to the point. Community leaders would do well to listen to them and heed their concerns. National security over promise of jobs!” she tweeted after the town meeting.

“I stand with local residents who oppose having a 700-acre Chinese battery factory in their backyard that could easily serve as a base for spying on Americans. No godion in Michigan!”


Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon of Michigan speaks to supporters and volunteers at the Lenawee County GOP office November 7, 2022 in Adrian, Mich. (Sarah Reis/Getty Images)

Michigan lawmakers also approved $585 million in state funding to build the plant, along with two others that would make batteries for electric vehicles. The facility has been approved for construction by a state economic development agency and was originally intended to be built on land in both Big Rapids and Green Charter Township.

Last month, Gotion put planned construction in Big Rapids on hold after the city council voted unanimously days earlier to request a federal review for potential national security risks related to a Chinese-owned company’s establishment in the area, according to a report from The Detroit News.

Earlier this month, the company said the facility was “not a done deal,” citing opposition from local residents.

Community members gather at a Green Charter Township board meeting March 14, 2023 to express their anger at a Chinese-owned company's plans to build a battery factory.

Community members gather at a Green Charter Township board meeting March 14, 2023 to express their anger at a Chinese-owned company’s plans to build a battery factory. (Esteban Clark Braendle)


Not all members of the community are against the project. Some of his supporters have touted the thousands of jobs that would be brought to the area should the plant be built.

Green Charter Township will hold another meeting on April 5 with the proposed facility on the agenda.

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