UNITED STATES. Washington: Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has suggested that giving Beijing some of Taiwan’s control could ease tensions between China and Taiwan. He suggested an agreement to settle the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The world’s richest man, Musk, said in an interview, “My recommendation… would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is pretty palatable and probably won’t make everyone happy.”
Musk made the comments in response to a question from a local newspaper regarding China. His electric car business, Tesla, runs a sizable facility in Shanghai.
The FT reported that Musk believed a fight over Taiwan was imminent and warned of its potential effects on not only Tesla but also iPhone producer Apple and the larger global economy, which he predicted would suffer 30% damage.
Musk added that China has requested guarantees that he wouldn’t promote his SpaceX rocket company’s Starlink broadband service there. He claimed that Beijing had made it clear that it disagreed with his recent launch of Starlink in Ukraine, which was intended to assist the military in getting around Russia’s internet censorship.
Beijing, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as one of its provinces, has long pledged to annex Taiwan and hasn’t ruled out using force to achieve this goal.
The 23 million residents of the island alone can decide its future, according to Taiwan’s government, which vehemently rejects China’s claims of sovereignty.
“It’s possible, and I think probably, in fact, that they could have an arrangement that’s more lenient than Hong Kong,” Musk added, alluding to the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests that shook the city and special administrative region of China.
Musk’s Ukraine-Russia deal
Earlier this week, Musk suggested that Ukraine hand over Crimea to Russia permanently, that a fresh election be held under U.N. supervision to decide what happens to the territory under Russian control, and that Ukraine accept neutrality.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, criticised him harshly after posting a Twitter poll asking for opinions on his strategy: “Which @elonmusk tweet is your favorite? Either one who is in favor of Russia or Ukraine.”