Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu Jaushieh has a message for billionaire Elon Musk — Taiwan is “not for sale.”
This comes after the Tesla founder claimed that the country was an “integral part” of China.
“I think I understand China well, I’ve been there many times,” Musk said in a podcast interview. He compared Taiwan to the U.S. state of Hawaii and said Taiwan was “an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China, mostly because the U.S. has stopped any reunification efforts.”
Joseph Wu Jaushieh took to X, formerly Twitter, to criticize Musk’s comments.
“Listen up, #Taiwan is not part of the #PRC (People’s Republic of China) & certainly not for sale!” Wu said, using his official ministry X account.
Jaushieh also asked Musk to take a stand against China’s blocking of his own social media website, X: “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.”
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This is not the first time Elon Musk has waded into the Taiwan issue, often seen as echoing the views of the Chinese Communist Party on the matter.
In October of last year, Musk spoke to The Financial Times in an interview and said the two governments could reach a “reasonably palatable” agreement.
“My recommendation … would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable, probably won’t make everyone happy,” he told the British business daily.
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“And it’s possible, and I think probably, in fact, that they could have an arrangement that’s more lenient than Hong Kong.”
Musk’s comments last October had won him praise from the Chinese ambassador to the United States, who said that under the “one country, two systems” model, Taiwan would enjoy “a high degree of autonomy” under Chinese rule.
The “one country, two systems” model was put in place when Britain transferred Hong Kong to China, where it was supposed to remain a special administrative region that could retain its own administrative model and democracy. Yet a 2020 national security law put in place by Beijing and used to crack down on pro-democracy voices in Hong Kong has led to intense international criticism and allegations that Beijing has broken that agreement.
The Taiwanese envoy to Washington hit back, saying “Taiwan sells many products, but our freedom and democracy are not for sale.”
The legal status of Taiwan, officially Republic of China (ROC), has been in contention since 1949, when the People’s Republic of China replaced the ROC government on the mainland, and the ROC evacuated to Taiwan.
Taiwan has been self-governed since then, and rejects China’s claims of sovereignty over its territory.
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