Taiwan has hit back after Elon Musk called the self-ruled island an “integral part of China.”
Taiwan is a democratic island that the Communist leadership in Beijing has long claimed as part of its territory, despite having never controlled it. Hawaii has been an official US state since 1959.
Speaking remotely at the All-in Summit, which took place in Los Angeles this week, Musk compared Taiwan’s relationship with China to that of Hawaii’s with the United States.
“[Beijing’s] policy has been to sort of reunite Taiwan with China,” said the Tesla (TSLA) CEO, who claimed he understands China “well.”
“From their standpoint, you know, maybe it’s analogous to like Hawaii or something like that, like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China mostly because … the US Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of reunification effort by force.”
Responding to Musk’s claims, Taiwan said;
“Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the PRC [and] certainly not for sale!” Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said in a Wednesday, September 13 statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, referring to the country by its official name, the People’s Republic of China.
He added that he hoped Musk “can also ask the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) to open X to its people.”
Like other Western social media platforms, X, which is now owned by Musk, is blocked in China.
Because of his business interests in China, Musk has met with “senior leadership at many levels in China,” he noted, adding that he felt he had “a pretty good understanding” of the country for “an outsider.”
Musk visited China earlier this year, where he held court with numerous government officials and visited Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai. In April, he announced plans for a new battery factory in the city.
Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory is reportedly producing vehicles at a rate of about 450,000 cars per year. Tesla’s China deliveries account for more than half of global sales
During his May visit, Musk said he was opposed to the idea of a US-China decoupling amid geopolitical fissures, calling the interests of both countries “intertwined like conjoined twins.”