Sending a diplomatic retort to billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s recent commentary on Taiwan’s status in relation to China, the Taiwanese Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, issued a resounding assertion that Taiwan was unequivocally “not for sale.” Musk had ventured into the sensitive issue of Taiwan’s relationship with China, alluding to Beijing’s official stance that the self-governing island is an integral part of its territory.
Wu took to social media, specifically X (formerly known as Twitter), to deliver his emphatic message. He stated, “Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the PRC & certainly not for sale!” The acronym PRC denotes the People’s Republic of China. Wu’s response underscored Taiwan’s unwavering stance on its sovereignty.
Furthermore, Wu suggested that Musk direct his attention to the Chinese Communist Party, urging them to permit the use of X within China, where it is currently banned. He commented, “Perhaps he thinks banning it is a good policy, like turning off @Starlink to thwart Ukraine’s counterstrike against Russia,” alluding to Musk’s decision to deny Ukraine’s request to activate his Starlink satellite network to support an attack on Russia’s fleet in the port city of Sevastopol.
Musk, speaking at a business summit in Los Angeles, delved into the contentious issue of Taiwan’s status in relation to China. He articulated Beijing’s policy objective as seeking to “reunite” Taiwan with mainland China, offering an analogy comparing it to Hawaii’s relationship with the United States. Musk suggested that Taiwan’s status as a separate entity from mainland China primarily existed because of the US Pacific Fleet’s intervention, preventing reunification through force.
It’s worth noting that Taiwan categorically rejects Beijing’s claims over the island, which have their roots in the outcome of the Chinese civil war. Public opinion surveys consistently reflect the majority of Taiwanese citizens opposing any merger with the Chinese mainland. While Taiwan enjoys official recognition as a sovereign nation from a limited number of countries (13 to be precise), it governs its own affairs autonomously and maintains a democratically elected government.
This exchange with Musk marks the second time in recent months that the entrepreneur has sparked diplomatic tensions concerning Taiwan. In October, Musk drew criticism from Taiwan after suggesting that tensions between Taiwan and China could be resolved by granting Beijing some degree of control over the island.
Elon Musk maintains significant business interests in China, including a Tesla factory in Shanghai, and has made multiple visits to the country in recent years. His comments on international geopolitics have the potential to impact his business relationships and draw diplomatic responses from concerned nations.
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