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Elon Musk is told that Taiwan is “not for sale.”

Taiwan told Elon Musk, a billionaire, that the island is “not for sale” after Musk said it was part of China.

“Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the People’s Republic of China, and it’s definitely not for sale!” said Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, on Mr. Musk’s X.

This week, at a business gathering, Mr. Musk compared Taiwan to Hawaii and said that it is a “integral part” of China.

Beijing says that Taiwan should be ruled by itself, and tensions between the two have grown over the past year.

This week, China did military drills in the air and on the water around Taiwan. This is something they do often to show how strong their military is around the island. Taiwan said that it had seen more than 40 Chinese military planes and about 10 ships in its waters.

This is not the first time that Mr. Musk’s words have upset Taiwan’s government. He has business interests in China. In October, he said that relations between Beijing and Taipei could be eased if Taiwan were given more power to China.

In an interview with the Financial Times at the time, he said that he thought the two countries could come up with a “reasonably palatable” plan. China’s representative to the US had praised Mr. Musk, but his Taiwanese counterpart had said something similar to Mr. Wu: that freedom is “not for sale.”

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Mr. Wu also wrote on X, “Hope Elon Musk can also ask the CCP [Chinese Community Party] to open X to its people.” China has banned Mr. Musk’s microblogging site X, which used to be called Twitter.

Mr. Wu had said before that China’s military drills were meant to affect the elections in Taiwan in January.

“The PRC has made it clear that it wants to influence Taiwan’s upcoming national election. Well, our people, not the bully next door, should decide,” he wrote on X.

Mr. Musk’s company, Tesla, makes electric cars. It has a big factory in Shanghai, and Mr. Musk was there in May. He met with top Chinese officials, and the Chinese foreign ministry said that Tesla was ready to grow its business in the country.

Relations between China and the US have been getting worse and worse over the past few years, so his visit got a lot of attention. Even though high-level talks have started up again, China and the U.S. still disagree on many things, including Taiwan, which has become one of their biggest points of contention. The US has been Taipei’s best friend for a long time.


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