After days of contemplating the Ukraine war, tech billionaire Elon Musk proposed creating a “special administrative region” around the self-ruled island of Taiwan in a new interview, angering Taipei while receiving thanks from Beijing.
in Interview with the Financial Times Published Friday, Musk discussed how the Chinese invasion of Taiwan would disrupt the global economy and its electric car business, Tesla, which has a factory in Shanghai.
Musk said his recommendation “would be to designate a special administrative region for Taiwan that would be reasonably acceptable.”
“Maybe not everyone will be happy,” he said in the interview. “And it is possible, and I think it’s probable, in fact, that they would have a more lenient arrangement than Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong gained independence from England in 1997 and is governed by “one country, two systems,” allowing it to operate ostensibly independently of China. But in the past two years, Beijing-backed leaders have orchestrated a brutal crackdown on dissent in the city-state.
Musk’s comment on Taiwan angered many Taiwanese lawmakers over the weekend.
Democratic Progressive Party MP Wang Tingyu wrote in a Facebook post that “individual independent companies cannot take ownership of them as a joke,” According to the Taipei Times.
“Why then would they give up the democratic freedoms, sovereignty and way of life of 23 million Taiwanese?” The legislator wrote. “This is unacceptable for Ukraine, and Taiwan will certainly not allow it.”
Other lawmakers criticized his comments as deaf and said Taiwan needed to protect its sovereign rights amid threats of a Chinese invasion, which became more apparent in August after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) traveled to the island in a show of support and provoke Beijing.
Musk’s proposal on Taiwan — which came just days after he offered a similarly controversial solution on how to end the war in Ukraine, proposing Kyiv ceded some territory and agreed never to join NATO — was greeted with greater enthusiasm by China.
Qin Gang, Chinese Ambassador to the United States, tweet it would like to “thank you” [Elon Musk] for his call for peace.”
“Indeed, peaceful reunification and one country, two systems are our basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question,” the ambassador wrote.
Musk, who activated Starlink satellites in Ukraine to provide internet access amid the war, told the Financial Times that Beijing had sought assurances that it would not roll out a Starlink service in China.
President Biden has repeatedly sparked diplomatic waves in recent months with his pledges to send US troops to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
US officials insisted that the administration adhere to the one-China policy and the Taiwan Relations Act, which recognizes Taiwan as part of China but allows America to maintain relations and help defend the island nation.
United State The Senate passed a bill out of committee Last month it would declare Taipei $4.5 billion over four years and position the country as a major non-NATO ally.
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