Elon Musk was rebuked by Taiwan after appearing to defend the one-China policy: 'Listen up, Taiwan is not for sale'

Elon Musk was rebuked by Taiwan after appearing to defend the one-China policy: 'Listen up, Taiwan is not for sale'
  • Elon Musk compared Taiwan to Hawaii, suggesting it was "an integral part of China."

  • Taiwan's minister of foreign affairs hit back, saying the island is "certainly not for sale!"

  • The Tesla CEO met with China's foreign minister during a trip to the country in May.

Elon Musk provoked a heated response from the Taiwanese government on Wednesday, after he appeared to defend China's claim over the disputed island.

During a virtual appearance at the All-In Summit while onboard his private jet, Musk explained how Beijing's "policy has been to reunite Taiwan with China."

"From their standpoint, maybe it is analogous to Hawaii or something like that," he said. "Like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China, mostly because the US Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of reunification effort by force."


The comments did not go down well with Taiwan.

"Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the PRC & certainly not for sale!" said Joseph Wu, the Taiwanese minister of foreign affairs, on his department's X account.

Wu also took the opportunity to send a couple jibes at Musk, as he suggested X should be unbanned in China.

"Perhaps he thinks banning it is a good policy, like turning off Starlink to thwart Ukraine's counterstrike against Russia," the government official said.

That refers to an incident where Musk refused Ukraine's request to activate Starlink in Crimea to aid an attack, as Musk feared it would lead to nuclear war. On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin described Musk as "undoubtedly an outstanding person."

Musk met with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang.
Elon Musk met with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in May.China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Handout via REUTERS

The Taiwan furor comes after Musk visited China in May, where he received a 16-course banquet, bought burgers for 100 workers at Tesla's Shangahi Gigafactory, and met with Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang.

"I think I understand China well," Musk said at the All-In Summit. "I've been there many times. I've met with senior leadership at the mainlands of China for many years."

"If one is to take China's policy recently, and probably one should, then force will be used to incorporate Taiwan into China," he added.

Musk did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, sent outside US working hours.

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