China’s ambassador to the United States thanked Elon Musk for proposing a special administration zone for Taiwan, while Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington reprimanded the billionaire saying its “freedom and democracy are not for sale.”
“Taiwan sells many products, but our freedom and democracy are not for sale,” Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, tweeted on Saturday.
“Any lasting proposal for our future must be determined peacefully, free from coercion, and respectful of the democratic wishes of the people of Taiwan.”
China’s ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, stressed Beijing’s call for “peaceful reunification and ‘one country, two systems'” for the island in a tweet on Saturday while thanking Musk.
Days after floating a possible deal to end the war between Russia and Ukraine that drew condemnation in Ukraine, Musk suggested tensions between China and Taiwan could be resolved by handing over some control of Taiwan to Beijing.
“My recommendation . . . would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable, probably won’t make everyone happy,” Musk told the Financial Times in an interview published on Friday.
Musk was responding to a question about China, where his Tesla electric car company operates a large factory.
Beijing, which claims Taiwan as one of its provinces, has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out the use of force to do so. Democratically ruled Taiwan’s government strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.