The Chinese Communist Party hailed billionaire Elon Musk's contentious proposal to turn Taiwan into a "special administrative region" under Beijing's control.
It comes after the SpaceX, Tesla, and likely soon-to-be Twitter CEO revealed in an interview with the Financial Times on Friday that he would seek a compromise over Taiwan parallel to that of Hong Kong and Macau.
"It's possible, and I think probably, in fact, that they could have an arrangement that's more lenient than Hong Kong," Musk told the paper, mirroring comments he made last week about Ukraine giving up the Crimean Peninsula to Russia.
Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S., praised Musk a day later on Twitter for his comments, which appeared to cede substantial ground to the country's claim over the Taiwan Strait.
"I would like to thank [Elon Musk] for his call for peace across the Taiwan Strait and his idea about establishing a special administrative zone for Taiwan," Qin wrote.
"Peaceful reunification and One Country, Two Systems are our basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question and the best approach to realizing national reunification," he added, claiming that Taiwan would enjoy "a high degree of autonomy" under China.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen emphasized in a Monday speech Beijing's recent "military intimidations, diplomatic pressure, trade obstructions, and attempts to erase the sovereignty of the Republic of China [Taiwan]."
"The broadest consensus among the Taiwanese people and our various political parties is that we must defend our national sovereignty and our free and democratic way of life," Tsai stated. "On this point, we have no room for compromise."
Taiwanese Ambassador to the U.S. Bi-khim Hsiao issued an even blunter statement in rebuke of Musk on her Twitter account several days prior.
"Taiwan sells many products, but our freedom and democracy are not for sale," Hsiao said. "Any lasting proposal for our future must be determined peacefully, free from coercion, and respectful of the democratic wishes of the people of Taiwan."
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