Diplomacy: Taiwan Prime Minister reframes Elon Musk

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DiplomacyTaiwan Prime Minister reframes Elon Musk

Taiwan’s prime minister said Tuesday that the Tesla boss “doesn’t know much” about the self-governing island. The billionaire had proposed that it be part of China.

The richest man on the planet has offended Su Tseng-chang.

AFP

The remarks that Elon Musk made last Friday in the “Financial Times” on the tense relations between Taiwan and China did not please the autonomous territory. Its inhabitants live under the constant threat of an invasion from Beijing, which considers it a province to be reconquered one day, if necessary by force.

In an interview published on Friday, the world’s richest man said he believed Taiwan should reach a “reasonably acceptable” deal with Beijing to become a “special administrative zone” of China modeled on Macau and Hong Kong. Chinese leaders have long proposed applying this model to Taiwan.

‘Musk speaks for himself’

Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang is the highest official on the island to react to statements by the boss of SpaceX. “Musk is a businessman. He has a big car factory in Shanghai and he wants to promote his electric vehicles…a businessman can say this today and say something else tomorrow,” he told a parliamentary session.

“Musk speaks for himself, but he really doesn’t know much about Taiwan and he doesn’t understand cross-Strait relations either,” the prime minister added. Polls have consistently shown that a large majority of Taiwanese people do not want to be ruled by Beijing. This feeling has grown since the takeover of Hong Kong by China, which has stifled all dissent.

Already reinstated by Ukrainian officials

The American entrepreneur’s remarks on Taiwan were welcomed by several Chinese officials, including Beijing’s ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang.

Last week, the billionaire debated on Twitter with Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials on how to end the conflict. The billionaire proposed a peace agreement between kyiv and Moscow based on new referendums under UN supervision, the abandonment of Crimea to Russia and a “neutral status” for Ukraine. The Ukrainian president responded with another poll for his followers: “Which Elon Musk do you prefer, the one who supports Ukraine or the one who supports Russia?” and the Kyiv ambassador to Germany told him to “fuck off”.

(AFP)

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