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Ex-CIA Directors Warn of Chinese Espionage Risk at Michigan EV Plant

Panetta and Pompeo raise alarms over espionage risks at a CCP-linked EV battery factory in Michigan.

In a stark warning, Leon Panetta, former CIA Director, has cast a shadow of suspicion over the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) potential involvement in the United States’ burgeoning green energy sector. The focus of Panetta’s concerns? A Democrat-endorsed electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Michigan, spearheaded by Gotion Inc., a company with undeniable ties to the CCP through its parent entity, Gotion High-Tech.

This revelation came to light during a recent hearing of the House Select Committee on the CCP, where Republican Rep. John Moolenaar questioned the potential for espionage by Chinese nationals planned to be brought over to Michigan. Panetta’s response was unequivocal and alarming. He suggested that the CCP’s modus operandi involves leveraging such economic footholds for intelligence and economic gains, detrimental to U.S. interests. This assertion was supported by Mike Pompeo, who served both as CIA Director and Secretary of State under the Trump administration. Pompeo didn’t mince words, emphasizing the profound national security risks these plants pose, going beyond mere espionage to potentially bolster Chinese strategic advantages.

The CCP’s strategy, it seems, is to embed itself within the fabric of American innovation, particularly within sectors pivotal to the future of energy and transportation. The Gotion Inc. project, which is set to benefit from a generous $175 million in state subsidies, is a testament to this strategy. This is compounded by additional federal incentives.

What’s most disconcerting is the veneer of separation between Gotion Inc. and its CCP-controlled parent company, a claim that has been scrutinized and challenged by numerous investigations. The Department of Justice’s designation of Gotion Inc. as a Chinese foreign principal exposes the facade, revealing a direct line of control and influence from Gotion High-Tech, itself deeply embedded with CCP members and involved in programs notorious for their dual-use technology acquisitions.

This scenario presents a conundrum of national security implications and ideological conflicts. On one hand, the pursuit of green energy and electrification is appealing to Democrats. On the other, the infiltration by a foreign adversary into critical infrastructure and technology sectors raises the specter of espionage, intellectual property theft, and undermining of American industrial and military advantages.

The U.S. must tread carefully, ensuring that environmental policies do not compromise its security or become a trojan horse for foreign espionage. The CCP’s foray into the American green energy sector, under the guise of benign investment and cooperation, is a chilling reminder of the multifaceted threats posed by geopolitical rivals. Vigilance, transparency, and a reevaluation of foreign involvement in critical sectors are paramount to safeguarding America’s national interests and maintaining a strategic edge.

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.