Gotion, Inc., a company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is poised to build another electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in close proximity to important U.S. military installations in Illinois.
Gotion Inc.’s $2 billion plant in Manteno, Illinois, is slated for construction on a site within about a 30-mile drive of the Army Reserve facility in Joliet, Illinois and within about 15 miles of a National Guard facility in Kankakee, Illinois. Gotion Inc. is a subsidiary of Hefei, China-based Gotion High-Tech, which employs hundreds of active CCP members and whose articles of association mandate allegiance to the CCP constitution; Gotion Inc. has also registered with the Department of Justice (DOJ) as a Chinese foreign principal.
The project is set to receive $536 million in subsidies from the state of Illinois, according to ConstructionDive, and the company also expects to receive subsidies from the federal government via President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, according to The Information. The planned Manteno facility is not the only Gotion Inc. plant slated for construction in proximity to U.S. military installations, with a battery components plant in Big Rapids, Michigan, planned for development within 100 miles of Camp Grayling, where members of the Michigan National Guard have trained Taiwanese soldiers, according to The Detroit News.
Gotion Inc. executive Chuck Thelen has said that “the Chinese Communist Party has no presence in the North American company” and that any related concerns are equivalent to “flat-out fear-mongering,” according to Politico.
However, Gotion High-Tech, Gotion Inc.’s parent company, employs 923 active members of the Chinese Communist Party as of 2022, including CEO Li Zhen, as reported previously by the Daily Caller News Foundation. CCP officials also established a talent recruitment “work station” at Gotion Inc.’s Fremont, California, headquarters in 2017, the DCNF reported.
“Work stations” are a key tactic that CCP officials use to attract Western talent to work in the Chinese mainland.
Additionally, employees of Gotion High-Tech pledged CCP oaths and dressed as Red Army soldiers during company excursions, the DCNF has previously reported. Numerous Gotion High-Tech employees wore matching Red Army uniforms while swearing to “fight for communism to the end of my life.”
“It’s my pleasure to welcome a world-leading battery manufacturer — Gotion — to Illinois,” Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday when announcing the Manteno “gigafactory.”
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also has thrown her support behind Gotion Inc.’s facility in the Big Rapids area, saying in October 2022 that her administration “will work with anyone and compete with everyone to keep bringing supply chains of batteries, chips and electric vehicles home to Michigan.”
Democratic Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin signed a non-disclosure agreement in January 2022 that allowed her to participate in closed-door talks pertaining to Gotion Inc.’s Michigan projects with state officials, Fox News reported in August.
The White House, the Department of Defense, Pritzker’s office, Gotion High-Tech and Gotion Inc. all did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
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