Taiwan has insisted it is “not for sale” in response to Elon Musk’s claim the country was an integral part of China.
The billionaire owner of social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, the Starlink satellite network and Tesla, made the comments to the All-In Summit in Los Angeles this week.
“Their [Beijing’s] policy has been to reunite Taiwan with China,” Mr Musk said.
“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 US Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of reunification effort by force,” he said.
China building airstrip on disputed island
China sends warships and jets near Taiwan
However, Taiwan‘s foreign minister Joseph Wu, in a post on X, said he hoped Musk could ask China to open the billionaire’s social media platform to its people.
China blocks X, along with other major Western social media sites like Facebook.
“Perhaps he thinks banning it is a good policy, like turning off @Starlink to thwart Ukraine’s counterstrike against Russia,” Mr Wu said.
‘Has your ego cost Ukrainian lives?’
He was referring to Mr Musk refusing a Ukrainian request to activate his Starlink satellite network in Crimea’s port city of Sevastopol last year to aid an attack on Russia’s fleet there.
“Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the PRC & certainly not for sale!” Mr Wu added, using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China.
A Chinese warship near Fuzhou, Fujian Province, near the Taiwan’s Matsu Islands in April
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s defence ministry has said in the past 24 hours it had detected 40 Chinese air force aircraft entering the island’s air defence zone, mostly flying into the Bashi Channel.
At least four of the aircraft also crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait to the northwest of the island.
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Taiwan’s democratically elected government strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims, and says only Taiwan’s people can decide their future.