New Delhi: Taiwan hit back at billionaire Elon Musk saying “it was not for sale” after the owner of the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) said the island nation was an “integral part of China”. Speaking at a business summit earlier this week, Musk waded into the thorny issue of relations between Taipei and Beijing after he compared Taiwan to Hawaii and said it was a part of China.
“Their (Beijing’s) policy has been to reunite Taiwan with China. From their standpoint, maybe it is analogous to Hawaii or something like that, like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China mostly because … the U.S. Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of reunification effort by force,” Elon Musk said, as reported by news agency Reuters.
In a sharp rebuke to the Tesla CEO, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tweeted, “Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the PRC [and] certainly not for sale!”
Needling Musk further, the Taiwan Foreign Minister wrote, “Hope @ElonMusk can also ask the #CCP to open @X to its people.” He was referring to the micro-blogging site being banned in China.
“Perhaps he thinks banning it is a good policy, like turning off @Starlink to thwart Ukraine’s counterstrike against Russia,” Joseph Wu posted. This was hinted at Elon Musk’s reported decision to suspend his Starlink satellite service to Ukraine during a crucial moment in Russia’s invasion of the nation.
It is to be noted that this is not the first time that the X owner has irked Taiwan by his remarks.
Earlier last year, Musk suggested that China should “figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable,” Financial Times reported. However, he noted that it “probably won’t make everyone happy.”
Notably, self-government Taiwan strongly rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims and says only Taiwan’s people can decide their future, leading to tensions between the two nations.