Youngkin Quashes Construction of Green Energy Plant That Would Have Been 'a Front for China'

Republican Virginia governor vanquished China-tied Democrat in 2021

Virginia Republican governor Glenn Youngkin and Chinese president Xi Jinping / Getty Images
January 16, 2023

Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin (R.) told reporters on Wednesday that he is blocking the construction of an electric car battery plant that would have been "a front for China."

While the plant was ostensibly owned by the Ford Motor Company, it would have been run by a Chinese company, Contemporary Amperex Technology, which also would have owned "the technology used in building the battery cells," the Virginia Mercury reported. Youngkin said Wednesday that he'd halted plans to build the factory.

"We welcome and encourage economic cooperation with international companies," the governor said, but "'Made in Virginia' cannot be a front for the Chinese Communist Party."

Youngkin in the 2021 gubernatorial race unexpectedly beat Democratic former governor Terry McAuliffe. If McAuliffe had won, he might not have nixed the plant: The Democrat has an almost 30-year relationship with China, notably partnering with a Chinese businessman to found an electric car company that offered visas to Chinese investors.

As late as 2021, news broke that a top McAuliffe fundraiser "solicited Chinese investment in the Washington, D.C., area," the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Youngkin told reporters that his prior experience as the CEO of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, makes him "uniquely positioned to understand how the Chinese Communist Party works."

"They have one objective," the governor said: "global dominance at the expense of the United States."