Taiwan has told billionaire Elon Musk it is “not for sale” after he said the island was a part of China.
“Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] & certainly not for sale!” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Musk’s X.
At a business summit this week, Musk compared Taiwan to Hawaii, calling it an “integral part” of China.
Wu also posted on X: “Hope Elon Musk can also ask the CCP [Chinese Community Party] to open X to its people.” Musk’s micro-blogging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is banned in China.
Hope @elonmusk can also ask the #CCP to open @X to its people. Perhaps he thinks banning it is a good policy, like turning off @Starlink to thwart #Ukraine’s counterstrike against #Russia. Listen up, #Taiwan is not part of the #PRC & certainly not for sale! JW https://t.co/HEhyTYYXFp
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) September 13, 2023
Musk’s electric car maker Tesla has a large manufacturing plant in Shanghai and he most recently visited the country in May. He met top Chinese officials and the Chinese foreign ministry said that Tesla was willing to expand its business in the country.
Not the first time Elon Musk angered Taiwan
This is not the first time that Musk has angered Taiwan’s government with his comments. In October last year, he suggested that tensions between Beijing and Taipei could be resolved by giving China some control over Taiwan.
He said then in an interview with the Financial Times that he believed the two governments could reach a “reasonably palatable” arrangement. China’s ambassador to the US had praised Musk but his Taiwanese counterpart said something similar to Wu – that freedom is “not for sale”.
Taiwan is the second nation in a week offended by Musk’s stance on geopolitical issues.
Taiwan follows Ukraine in blasting Elon Musk
Ukraine has accused the business magnate of “committing evil” after a new biography revealed that he ordered his Starlink satellite communications network to be turned off last year to thwart a drone attack on Russian warships.
According to a new biography of Musk, in an interview with author Walter Isaacson, the South African-born billionaire asked, “How am I in this war?”
He told Isaacson that he was worried the Ukrainian attack on Russian vessels would provoke the Kremlin into launching a nuclear war. The book, titled Elon Musk, was released on Tuesday.
The next day Russia’s President Vladimir Putin hailed Musk.
Putin, speaking at an economic forum in Russia’s Far East, did not refer to the Starlink controversy. But when asked about the success of Musk’s SpaceX company in launching rockets into space, he was full of praise.
“As far as private business and Elon Musk is concerned… he is undoubtedly an outstanding person. This must be recognized, and I think it is recognized all over the world,” Putin said.
“He [Musk] is an active and talented businessman and he is succeeding a lot, including with the support of the American state,” he added.