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Elon Musk Proposes Solution for China-Taiwan, Days After Russia-Ukraine “Peace Plan”

Elon Musk
Elon Musk Proposes Solution for China-Taiwan, Days After Russia-Ukraine “Peace Plan”. Credit Heisenberg Media CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

After his controversial remarks on the war between Russia and Ukraine, Elon Musk once again made a proposal for a peace deal between China and Taiwan.

The outspoken Tesla chief executive said that Taiwan should become a special administrative zone of China. Taiwan currently rules itself, but Beijing claims it as part of its territory.

In an interview with the Financial Times, which was published on Friday, the world’s richest man said he believed the two governments could reach a “reasonably palatable” arrangement.

Qin Gang, the ambassador of China to the US, praised Musk although his Taiwanese counterpart said freedom is “not for sale.”

Musk’s controversial comments on Ukraine Russia War

Last week, the American tech billionaire also drew criticism for posting a Twitter poll with his suggestions for ending the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Musk suggested that Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014, be formally recognized as Russia, that water supply to Crimea be assured, and that Ukraine remain neutral. He asked Twitter users to vote yes or no on his idea.

He said that this “is highly likely to be the outcome in the end—just a question of how many die before then.”

“A possible, albeit unlikely…outcome from this conflict is nuclear war,” he also added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned Musk’s suggestions and votes were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.

Zelensky responded with his own poll. “Which @elonmusk do you like more?” Zelensky tweeted, offering two possible responses: one who supports Ukraine or one who supports Russia.

Musk comments amidst record sales for his electronic cars in China

Tesla’s chief executive commented on heightened China-Taiwan tensions amidst the company’s milestone for monthly record sales of Tesla’s electric car in China.

In September, Tesla delivered 83,135 China-made electric vehicles, according to a report released on Sunday by the China Passenger Car Association.

That broke the previous record set by the company in June and marked a milestone for Tesla’s factory in Shanghai, which has been trying to boost production.

Mr. Musk said, “My recommendation…would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable, [but] probably won’t make everyone happy.”

“And it’s possible, and I think probably, in fact, that they could have an arrangement that’s more lenient than Hong Kong,” he added.

Mr. Musk’s suggestion to establish Taiwan as a special administrative zone was gladly welcomed by China’s ambassador to the US, Qin Gang, who said on Twitter that “peaceful reunification” and the “one country two systems” model used in governing Hong Kong were China’s “basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question.”

“Provided that China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests are guaranteed, after reunification, Taiwan will enjoy a high degree of autonomy as a special administrative region and a vast space for development,” he added.

“Freedom not for sale,” Taiwan’s ambassador to the US says

Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, responded on Twitter and noted that “Taiwan sells many products, but our freedom and democracy are not for sale.”

“Any lasting proposal for our future must be determined peacefully, free from coercion, and respectful of the democratic wishes of the people of Taiwan,” Ms. Hsiao added.

Shihoko Goto, director for geoeconomics and Indo-Pacific enterprise at the Wilson Center in Washington DC, told reporters that Mr. Musk’s suggestions could hurt his business interests.

“Let’s bear in mind that Elon Musk is supposedly on the brink of purchasing Twitter,” Ms. Goto said. “Of course, Twitter is banned in China because free speech is not allowed in China.”

“So if he is investing in Twitter, his company will probably not be able to operate in a Taiwan that is going to be under pressure or under the thumb of China,” she added. “That would be a suicidal act on the part of Elon Musk.”

It should be noted, that the People’s Republic of China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control.

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