The residents of a small Michigan town voted out their entire local government in a recall election due to concerns about a Chinese-linked electric battery plant.
“Green Charter Township’s five board members were removed,” according to the Daily Mail.
The rural town’s five incumbent Republican board members were ousted in favor of candidates with no party affiliation.
Town residents strongly disapprove the board’s decision to “greenlight the construction of a Chinese-connected electric vehicle battery plant in their community,” NewsNation noted.
After the vote, Green Charter Township’s new leaders changed the locks on the main government building.
NewsNation aired this video report:
The project was expected to create more than 2,300 jobs as part of a $2.34 billion investment.
Despite the backlash from residents, the board moved forward with the Chinese-affiliated project.
“My family members fought communism, and you’re bringing it right here,” a local resident said last year.
When NewsNation visited the town in April, a resident named Corri Riebow who had no experience in politics said, “I don’t know (why they would approve it), other than somebody must be benefitting from it.”
Riebow then ran for clerk and won last night. “We just plan on making it as difficult as we possible for them to continue their process. They don’t even have a sight planned, they don’t have permits yet, so, we’re not their friend,” Riebow said of how the new government is going to handle Gotion, the company behind the plant.
NewsNation Senior National Correspondent Brian Entin added this update late Tuesday night:
Latest from Green Charter Township, Michigan where citizens just took out their entire local government in an effort to stop a Chinese affiliated battery plant from being built: pic.twitter.com/jvrO8aTHTo
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) November 8, 2023
Per Daily Mail:
The community of just 3,219 residents leans Republican, and the surrounding county voted in favor of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election by a margin of 22 percentage points.
The petition that launched the recall election accused town officials of ignoring voter concerns over China-linked company Gotion’s plan to open a $2.3 billion EV plant there, which is expected to create 2,350 jobs.
Although it is backed by Volkswagen with operations in Germany, Gotion’s parent company is based in China, and has been accused of having links to the country’s Communist Party.
On Wednesday, NewsNation’s Entin reported live from the town’s empty government building, after the incumbents hastily packed up their belongings.
‘This is something Americans all across the country almost fantasize about, booting out their local government if they don’t like them and they’re not getting the job done,’ he told host Elizabeth Vargas on Elizabeth Vargas Reports.
In ousting Green Charter’s town board, voters in the community also sent a message to President Joe Biden, who has touted EV plants and other clean energy projects as key to his economic growth plans.
China is a leader in the global supply chain for advanced batteries and other green technology, raising thorny questions about what kind of impact partnerships in that arena will have on US interests.
Gotion’s plans for the Michigan plant, and another in Illinois, have drawn scrutiny from congressional Republicans, who urged the Treasury Department to conduct a security review over Gotion’s purported ties to China’s Communist Party.
Green Charter Township residents have waged a fierce, lengthy battle against Gotion’s plans to construct the electric battery factory.
From our prior report:
Residents of Green Charter Township, a rural Michigan community, earned a ‘huge victory’ after Chinese-owned firm Gotion backed out of its deal to acquire 80 acres of local agricultural land.
“Gotion, a company that ‘pledges allegiance’ to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), did, however, complete the purchase of 260 acres of derelict industrial land in the township and 10 acres of disused farmland last week,” the Daily Mail reports.
Concerned Green Charter Township residents fiercely resisted the company’s attempted takeover of the land to build a battery factory.Advertisement
Gotion previously “delayed a rezoning application to re-zone farmland to industrial to build a $2.4 billion battery plant,” WLTReport noted.
“It’s allegedly an attempt to re-zone the rural land to industrial to sidestep proposed legislation that would ban foreign adversaries from purchasing farmland. Michigan residents have reportedly expressed outrage over the plant due to concerns about the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party,” the outlet noted.
Chinese owned company Gotion with plans to build battery plant in Michigan has this line in their articles of association: “The company shall set up a party organization and carry out party activities in accordance with the constitution of the Communist Party of China.”
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) April 13, 2023