Recently, a Michigan community successfully blocked an attempt from a Chinese company to purchase farmland in the Green Charter Township. Gotion is a Chinese-based company focusing on producing EV batteries, which pulled back its intended land purchase following backlash from the local community.
However, residents have indicated there is still much more work to do in fighting Gotion’s presence in the state. “We’ve got a small win here,” said Lori Brock, a resident who protested the company’s land purchase. “It was because we didn’t get any help from Michigan, but we called the federal EPA, and the federal EPA came up here and they and they got back some of the land for us.”
The Biden administration recently approved Gotion’s development of an EV battery factor in Mecosta County earlier this summer following months of investigation into its impact on national security. However, despite the Biden administration’s approval, local residents aren’t buying in. “We’re going to still continue to fight them every step of the way. We don’t want them here. So we’re going to do whatever it takes to keep them out of our community,” Brock added.
Another resident against the land purchase, Jeff Thorne, stated that the community pushed back against the foreign company “the American way,” voicing their say in the matter and standing firm. “We have a say in how we live and what goes on and what doesn’t go out here,” Thorne stated.
Former Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon slammed the role of Democrats in allowing the company to move forward with the project. “The Biden administration said it was OK,” Dixon said. “And yes, it should concern people that this Democrat governor came out and courted this company and then signed non-disclosure agreements around this.”
Dixon criticized the lack of disclosure around the project, also calling out some significant issues that could be discovered about this company. Especially if there are ties to the Chinese Communist Party, that could pose a serious national security risk.
“They could find out that there was no environmental review of this company. They could also find out that there are direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party…” Dixon continued, “And they were even able to fight the township board that would have circumvented the system and voted to have this property rezoned had the residents not come out informed and demanded a referendum and had a local vote on that.”
President of the National Black Farmers Association, John Boyd Jr., also blasted the idea of a Chinese company coming into America and grabbing valuable farmland. Boyd Jr. suggested the Biden administration wrongfully approved the project, citing obvious concerns around national security.
“This takes away valuable farmland from America’s farmers. So here you have nearly 385,000 acres now owned by the Chinese government, more land than the Bill Gates [owns] in this country. And this is a national security risk… China’s been caught stealing our seeds. That’s intellectual property. It’s food security, and this administration isn’t speaking out against it,” Boyd said.
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