A Chinese company developing a taxpayer-funded electric vehicle battery facility in Michigan published reports and video footage of its employees wearing what appears to be Red Army uniforms and pledging fealty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Gotion High-Tech — the Hefei, China-based parent company of Gotion Inc. — hosted multiple company trips in 2021 to CCP revolutionary memorials in Anhui Province, China, according to records first reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation. During the trips, Gotion High-Tech workers wore Red Army outfits and pledged to “fight for communism to the end of my life.”
“I volunteer to join the CCP, uphold the Party’s platform, observe the provisions of the Party’s by-laws, carry out a member’s duties, carry out the Party’s decisions, strictly observe the Party’s discipline, be loyal to the Party, work hard, to fight for communism as long as I live, be ready at all times to sacrifice everything for the Party and people and never betray the Party,” the employees chanted during a trip to China’s Revolutionary Memorial Hall in July 2021, footage translated by the DCNF showed.
One month later, the company held a trip to Dabie Mountain to commemorate the CCP’s Long March, an historic march that led to the emergence of Chinese dictator Mao Zedong in early 1935.
In a statement, a Gotion representative said its parent company didn’t fund the trips.
“Gotion High-Tech employees in China are involved with many clubs, including biking and hiking clubs, and one politically affiliated club,” the official told Fox News Digital. “None of these clubs are financed by Gotion High-Tech, and some employees individually paid for field trips to historical sites in China out of their own pockets.”
“Gotion Inc. is headquartered in Fremont, California, and is not supervised, directed, controlled or financed by any foreign government or foreign political party,” they continued. “Gotion Inc. does observe all American holidays and wishes everyone a wonderful Labor Day holiday this weekend.”
The revelation that Gotion’s parent company hosted CCP trips for its employees and conducted party pledges comes as its Michigan project continues to face heightened scrutiny from locals, national security experts and Republican lawmakers.
Opponents of the project have noted the company’s allegiance to the Chinese government and often pointed to Gotion High-Tech’s corporate bylaws, which state that the company is required to “carry out Party activities in accordance with the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.”
The company’s 2022 ESG report states Gotion High-Tech “carried out thematic education activities such as the study of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, red theme education, and love for students,” The Midwesterner reported.
And earlier this year a Michigan law firm quietly registered Gotion Inc. as a Chinese foreign principal, according to FARA filings reviewed by Fox News Digital.
“Subnational incursions are afoot,” former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Cella, the co-founder of the Michigan-China Economic and Security Review Group, previously told Fox News Digital.
“China is on the hunt,” he continued. “The Chinese Communist Party is on the hunt. They are looking for these open doors to kick in, in states. And they have carried great sway. You just need to look at Gotion or CATL — textbook examples of this influence operation.”
In April, Cella and fellow former U.S. Ambassador Peter Hoekstra, who helped found the Michigan-China Economic and Security Review Group, asked the Department of Justice to open a federal investigation into potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act related to five-year hush agreements signed by state officials as part of the Gotion negotiations.
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that Gotion would invest $2.4 billion to construct two 550,000 square-foot production plants along with other supporting facilities spanning 260 acres in northern Michigan. She applauded the proposal in her late 2022 announcement, saying it would shore up Michigan’s status as the “global hub of mobility and electrification.”
Then, earlier this year, the Michigan state Senate Appropriations Committee gave the final stamp of approval for granting Gotion $175 million in direct taxpayer funding to help build the facility. In a 10-9 vote, some Democrats joined every Republican on the panel in voting against the funding, while only Democrats, including the committee’s chairwoman, voted in favor.
“I’m angry. I’m angry that this vote was slipped into the agenda today with as little information as possible so that people like me wouldn’t know it was happening,” Marjorie Steele, a local resident, said during the hearing. “I’m angry that you, our elected officials, have ignored my community’s pleas to table this vote until some small semblance of due diligence can be performed.”
“I can promise you that we will not stop at the local level,” she added. “We are tired of being abused, and we are not alone. This is not just a Mecosta County issue. Townships and counties across the state are uniting, sharing resources, manpower and grassroots activism. Your votes today, senators, are lines drawn in the sand.”
Gotion announced in August that it had scooped up 270 acres of land in Green Charter Township, Michigan, for the project. Some of the purchased land is zoned for agriculture or residential use, while the majority is zoned for industrial use.
Whitmer’s office did not respond to request for comment by time of publication.