Earlier this year, his Excellency the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, was attacked for declining an economic opportunity that would have involved shipping Virginia taxpayer cash to a company all tangled up with the Chinese Communist Party.
It is probably important to remember that the communist regime in China has been identified by the Biden administration (and the Trump administration before that) as having engaged in slavery, genocide, and child labor.
The State of Michigan, unlike the Commonwealth of Virginia, has no qualms about dealing with such people.
Nor, obviously, does Ford Motor Company, which announced last week that it would spend $3.5 billion to build a factory for electric vehicle batteries in Michigan. The taxpayers of Michigan will contribute another $1 billion to that effort.
In Ford Motor Company’s own words: “CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology) is the world’s largest battery producer; their limited involvement will be as a contractual service provider and licensor of technology to Ford.” So, Ford will construct batteries using technology controlled and licensed to them by a Chinese company that is an instrument of the communist China regime.
If that sounds like the sort of thing that leads to being compromised and manipulated by a foreign power, it is probably because it is exactly that sort of thing.
The story gets worse. It turns out that the company in question — CATL — is connected to the CCP’s “United Front” propaganda and influence effort, which exists to get Chinese nationals, foreign governments, and other actors to support the regime in China.
It gets even less savory. Zeng Yuqun, the current chief and founder of CATL, was identified last year as a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The CPPCC coordinates Chinese interest groups and is led by the Politburo Standing Committee.
Governor Youngkin sees things clearly. In an interview he noted simply that: “The structure was CATL and the Chinese Communist Party would have full operational control over the technology. I would have loved to have had Ford come to Virginia and build a battery plant if they were not using it as a front for a company that is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
He is not alone. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter last week to several members of Team Biden, asking for a review of the licensing agreement between Ford and CATL. Senator Rubio was rude enough to point out the truth: ” . . . even nominally private Chinese companies enjoy rich state support from Beijing, as well as important controls on their ownership. These firms are also obliged by numerous CCP policies and laws to support the regime’s objectives. CATL is no exception.”
The Senator is correct, as is Governor Youngkin. There is nothing that distinguishes a company like CATL from the slaving, genocidal regime which it serves and in which it participates. Now that Ford has jumped into bed with CATL, it has become a front for that very same regime.
Unfortunately for the citizens pf Michigan, they, too, have become – willing or not – supporters of the communist, genocidal regime in Beijing.
Michael McKenna is the president of MWR Strategies. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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