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International Controversy Explodes in Small Town Michigan

Tensions across the United States are incredibly high right now, with discourse in America surrounding our aggressive amount of funding and taxpayer money sent to the frontlines of Ukraine, our former president wrapped in the throes of a civil trial brought upon him by the RICO act, and growing distrust between the public and the government, there is plenty of animosity and confusion going around.


A recent article published in the New York Times outlined a growing outrage in rural Michigan due to the entrance and establishment of a battery factory on 270 acres of undeveloped land. The controversy erupted once the residents of Green Charter Township, Michigan were clued into the fact that Gotion, the company planning to break ground in the township, is a subsidiary of Heifei Guoxuan High Tech Power Energy Co., a Chinese corporation. Despite only being a subsidiary of the Chinese corporation and having a primary headquarters in Silicon Valley, residents of Green Charter Township have seemingly become very concerned about Chinese Communist Party influence and potential infiltration upon the introduction of Gotion to their small rural community. 


This rivalry between America and China is heavily based on trade and economic development, essentially becoming a cold war race against one another. There are also the controversial ideological differences between the two countries that have become a major target for fearmongering and agenda-setting in the media. An excellent example of this use of agenda-setting in the media is from the Fox News coverage of this very same event, boasting a headline that reads, “Michigan EV plant’s owner promotes Chinese Communist ideology at worker retreats: Report” This is an excellently calculated headline to stir up the viewer base of Fox News and charge the concerns and fear surrounding these business developments in rural Michigan.


A deep dive on Gotion’s website does not answer too many questions that could smooth out fears of communism infiltrating Michigan through this battery production site. They display their headquarters in Fremont, California as well as an additional location in Independance, Ohio, although no information about that facility is provided on the website. International locations include the parent company, Hefei Guoxuan’s headquarters in the Anhui provence of China as well as locations in Germany, Japan, and Singapore. It is evident, besides the facility in Ohio, that this Gotion expansion to the midwest of America is a risky move for the company as well as the state legislators and local officials who are sanctioning the introduction of Gotion to the town. Undeniably, the new battery production facility will create a great quantity of jobs for local Michigan residents, however it is very likely that the fearmongering and social disarray will continue to envelop this town and cause many to opt to find work elsewhere. 


Fears of East Asian influence and trade being injected directly into American society are nothing new to the musings and anxieties of the American people. Kurt Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus, a persistent and hilarious contemplation on American fears, hypocrisies, and shortcomings features the Japanese acquisition of an American prison in Rochester, New York as a primary plot point. Written in 1990 but set in 2001, there are some interesting references and conclusions drawn about the infiltration and enaction of East Asian business and employees being transferred to America in businesses that are blocked off and hidden from the general public. 


Per the New York Times article, 


The possibility that American taxpayers could subsidize Chinese firms has stoked anger in local communities and in Congress, where lawmakers are scrutinizing transactions involving companies with ties to China and urging the Biden administration to block them.” 


Yet, according to a piece written by Yukon Huang for the Carnegie Endownment for International Peace, the tariffs initially placed on trade with China by former President Donald Trump in an effort to lower the U.S. trade deficit have only been continued in practice by current President Joe Biden. The apparent result of this has been no improvements made to the U.S.’ trade deficit, the deficit has actually gotten worse, and bi-lateral trade between the U.S. and China has just soared back to its same heights, increasing China’s trade surplus and making acquisitions like a Gotion battery production plant in Michigan a viable possibility for economic gain and prosperity. 


This seems like a situation where supporters begged President Trump to limit trade possibilities with China, but the actions then taken by the federal government ended up making the U.S. trade deficit and economic cold war with China even worse than they were, Now,  the media that is directly aimed at those who indirectly asked for these changes and developments to happen, is convincing all who selectively perceive their morning news, that Gotion is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party and that this might as well be the beginning of the end for Green Charter Township, Michigan.


 I would be curious what percentage of Green Charter Township residents scroll half of their days away on TikTok. 


The New York Times report on this situation cited the Green Charter Township supervisor Jim Chapman, who reported that residents of the township were prepared to exercise their 2nd amendment rights to prevent the building of the Gotion factory. This situation, when broken down, seems massively paradoxical. There is no warrant to the claims that Gotion is a CCP front to infiltrate the United States. Other Green Charter residents expressed their fears of environmental damage from the chemicals being shipped in and out of the future construction site; it would be interesting to find out if the communist-fearing residents share the environmental concerns of some of their neighbors. 


Every news-worthy situation is becoming a hotbed of controversy and misinformed discourse in the United States currently. The Green Charter Township is prepared to throw lawsuits, public, discourse, and firearms at this Gotion factory’s construction. This will be a very interesting story to keep eyes on in the coming future.


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