Tags: taiwan | musk | china | war | su | xi

Taiwan Premier Su Rebukes Musk's 'Palatable' Solution

Taiwan on a map
Taiwan on a map (Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:30 PM EDT

Taiwan Premiere Su Tseng-chang told a session of parliament recently that comments by billionaire businessman Elon Musk that the independent island could reach a "reasonably palatable" agreement with China to become an "administrative zone," showed that he has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to the situation, CBS News reported.

"Musk is a businessman, He has a big car factory in Shanghai, and he wants to promote his electric vehicles... a businessman may say this today and say that tomorrow," the news outlet reported Su saying during the recent session of Parliament in Taiwan. "Musk only speaks for himself but he really doesn't know much about Taiwan, and he also doesn't understand cross-strait relations."

Musk made the comment during an Oct. 7 interview with the Financial Times when he was asked about the risk China could pose for his Shanghai Tesla factory, which builds 30 to 50% of the company's total production, given the recent tensions there.

"My recommendation would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable," Musk told the publication. "[It] probably won't make everyone happy. And it's possible, and I think probably, in fact, that they could have an arrangement that's more lenient than Hong Kong."

He told the news outlet that his company, and others, are likely to get caught up in any regional conflict between the island and the mainland.

"Apple would be in very deep trouble, that's for sure," he said in the interview, estimating such a conflict could cause a "30% hit" to the global economy.

Tensions have been running high during the last several months between China and Taiwan, fueled in part by a summer visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and President Joe Biden vowing to defend the island with American troops if China were to try and invade.

"This is not a matter of if they will invade, it's a matter of when they will invade," Admiral Lee Hsi-min, who used to head Taiwan's armed forces, told CBS News correspondent Lesley Stahl.

Since Pelosi's visit, Beijing has reacted with military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait, separating the island from mainland China, including firing missiles over the island, the Associated Press reported in August.

"I think we are in for a risky period of testing boundaries and finding out who can achieve escalatory dominance across the diplomatic, military and economic domains," David Chen, an analyst with CENTRA Technology, a U.S.-based consulting firm told the AP at the time.

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will be seeking a third term this year, China has been pushing to bring the island under its control, "by force, if necessary," the AP report said.

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Taiwan Premiere Su Tseng-chang said that comments by billionaire Elon Musk that the independent island could reach a “reasonably palatable” agreement with China to become an “administrative zone,” showed that he has no idea what he is talking about.
taiwan, musk, china, war, su, xi
Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:30 PM
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