A statement by Tesla and X CEO Elon Musk about Taiwan has caused bad blood among the authorities of the island state.
In a podcast, the multi-billionaire had compared Taiwan to the US state of Hawaii, saying the former is “an integral part” of China. But with such statements, Musk is “blindly flattering China,” said Jeff Liu, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.
“If commercial interests influence Musk’s comments, they do not deserve to be taken seriously, and the person making them does not deserve respect,” Liu said. “We don’t know if Musk’s opinion is for sale, but Taiwan certainly isn’t.”
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu also did not let the comment go unnoticed. “I hope that Elon Musk can also ask the Communist Party in China whether the people will have access to X (the former Twitter, ed.),” said Wu on the same platform, which is strictly prohibited in China.
Musk also stirred emotions in May because he claimed that China would “inevitably” integrate the island state.
Beijing considers Taiwan, which is de facto autonomously governed, a Chinese province. In recent years, China has increased political and economic pressure on Taiwan.