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Elon Musk hails China’s ‘vitality and promise’ during visit to Beijing

Elon Musk is making his first trip to China in over three years. (To file)


Elon Musk praised China’s “vitality and promise” on Wednesday, Beijing said, during a trip to the Chinese capital during which he met several government officials and reportedly said he would expand his business there.

The mercurial tycoon, one of the world’s richest men, is making his first trip to China in over three years.

He met with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Wednesday, praising “China’s vitality and development potential”, according to a ministry statement.

Elon Musk “expressed his full confidence in the Chinese market and was willing to continue to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation,” according to a report of the meeting.

He also said that “China-US relations are not a zero-sum game”, he added, and thanked China for “the support and guarantees it has provided to the factory of Tesla in Shanghai during the Covid-19 pandemic, when it was placed under strict control. blockages.

Mr. Musk has extensive business interests in China and told Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Tuesday that his company was “willing to continue to expand its business in China,” according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Elon Musk and Tesla themselves did not release any statement on the trip or respond to AFP’s requests for comment.

Chinese media reported that Tesla welcomed its CEO to Beijing on Tuesday with a 16-course dinner including seafood, New Zealand lamb and traditional Beijing-style soybean paste noodles.

He also met with Industry Minister Jin Zhuanglong in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss “the development of new energy vehicles and intelligent connected vehicles,” the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement. .

Tesla representatives did not respond to AFP requests for more information on Mr Musk’s itinerary.

China is the world’s largest electric vehicle market, and Tesla announced in April that it would build a massive second factory in Shanghai, following its Gigafactory which started in 2019.

Deep business ties

During his meeting with Qin on Tuesday, Elon Musk also expressed his opposition to an economic “decoupling” between China and the United States, Beijing said.

“The interests of the United States and China are intertwined, like conjoined twins, which are inseparable from each other,” Musk said.

Elon Musk’s extensive business ties to China have raised eyebrows in Washington, with President Joe Biden saying in November that the executive branch’s ties to foreign countries merit scrutiny.

He also sparked controversy by suggesting that the self-governing island of Taiwan should become part of China – a position welcomed by Chinese officials but which has deeply angered Taipei.

Critics point to industrial ties linking Mr. Musk to China, which has increasingly strained ties with Washington.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Tuesday that the country welcomes visits from international leaders “to better understand China and promote mutually beneficial cooperation.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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