| 25 June 2024, Tuesday |

Taiwan tells Elon Musk it is ‘not for sale’

Taiwan has warned entrepreneur Elon Musk that the island is “not for sale” after he stated that it is a part of China.

“Listen up, Taiwan is not a part of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] and it is certainly not for sale!” stated Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Mr Musk’s X.

Mr Musk compared Taiwan to Hawaii this week at a business gathering, calling it a “integral part” of China.

Beijing claims self-government for Taiwan, and tensions between the two have risen in the last year.

China conducted air and naval maneuvers surrounding Taiwan this week, in what has become a regular display of military force around the island. Taiwan stated that it has observed about 40 Chinese military planes and perhaps ten ships in its seas.

This is not the first time that Mr Musk, who has business interests in China, has angered Taiwan’s government with his comments. In October, he suggested that tensions between Beijing and Taipei could be resolved by giving China some control over Taiwan.

Mr Wu also posted on X: “Hope Elon Musk can also ask the CCP [Chinese Community Party] to open X to its people.” Mr Musk’s micro-blogging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is banned in China.

Mr Wu had previously said that China’s military drills were intended to influence Taiwan’s elections in January.

“The PRC [People’s Republic of China] has made it clear it wants to shape Taiwan’s coming national election. Well, it’s up to our citizens to decide, not the bully next door,” he wrote on X.

Mr 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.