2023-0914: Taiwan Slams Musk for Calling It “An Integral Part of China”; U.S. Lawmakers Support Taiwan’s Inclusion in U.N.

Taiwan Slams Elon Musk for Calling It “An Integral Part of China”

Taiwan is “not for sale” and not part of China, Taiwan’s government said in a stern rebuke to Elon Musk, the owner of social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, after he referred to Taiwan as “an integral part of China.”

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla electric car company and SpaceX, a rocket and spacecraft manufacturer, made the comments on the “All-In” podcast on September 13, while answering a question about China and the future of his involvement with the country.

During the interview, Musk claimed that he understands China “well,” and then compared Taiwan’s relationship with China to that of Hawaii’s with the U.S., asserting that Taiwan is “an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China mostly because . . . the U.S. Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of [China’s] reunification effort by force.”

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu responded to Musk in a post on X late on September 13, saying that he hoped Musk would ask China to allow its people access to X which is banned in China along with many other major Western social media platforms like Facebook.

“Hope @elonmusk can also ask the #CCP to open @X to its people. Perhaps he thinks banning it is a good policy, like turning off @Starlink to thwart #Ukraine’s counterstrike against #Russia,” Wu wrote, referring to Musk’s refusing to allow Ukraine to use SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to aid a surprise attack on Russia’s forces in Crimea in September 2022.

“Listen up, #Taiwan is not part of the #PRC & certainly not for sale!” Wu wrote, using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China.

This was not the first time Wu has criticized Musk. In this May, Wu told the billionaire that the value of democracy transcends that of money in response to a comment by Musk that China will inevitably integrate Taiwan.

“The #CCP’s bullying & threats are a concern, especially for those who would rather stay free & democratic. The #PRC expansionist policy violates rules-based international order & the status quo. Mr. @ElonMusk, other than money, there is something we call VALUES,” Wu tweeted with his initials JW, tagging Musk and capitalizing the word “values” in the tweet.

In addition, Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., Hsiao Bi-khim, also made the country’s position clear last year in a statement: “Taiwan sells many products, but our freedom and democracy are not for sale.”

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202309140014
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4998545

U.S. Lawmakers Issue Statement Supporting Taiwan’s Inclusion in U.N.

On September 12, the co-chairs of the U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus (CTC) issued a joint statement supporting Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, as the 78th session of the U.N. General Assembly convened in New York.

U.S. Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Ami Bera (D-CA), and Andy Barr (R-KY) said in the statement that the U.S. Congress has “steadfast support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations.”

They also rejected actions by the U.N. to bar Taiwan from meaningful participation, especially the misinterpretation of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 2758.

The UNGA Resolution 2758, passed in 1971, recognized the representatives of the People’s Republic of China as the lawful representatives of China to the U.N., but mentioned nothing about Taiwan’s international representation and territorial sovereignty.

The CTC co-chairs reiterated the content of the “Taiwan International Solidarity Act” (H.R.1176), passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives in this July, which made clear that the UNGA Resolution 2758 “did not address the issue of representation of Taiwan and its people in the United Nations or any related organizations.”

“In fact, over the last decade, Congress has overwhelmingly adopted numerous bills and resolutions which explicitly call for Taiwan’s meaningful international participation and inclusion in international efforts with regional or global implications,” the joint statement said.

“As the [Chinese] People’s Liberation Army continues to encroach upon neighbors, including Taiwan, the United States must once again demonstrate resolute support for this strategic partner,” it added.

In concluding their statement, the U.S. lawmakers urged the Biden Administration to “continue robust advocacy for Taiwan,” while “using all diplomatic and other appropriate means to encourage more countries to join the effort.”

The 78th U.N. General Assembly opened on September 5, and the General Debate is to be held from September 19-26.

U.S. President Joe Biden will address the U.N. General Assembly on September 19, and “will meet with world leaders to discuss cooperation in tackling threats to international peace and security, advancing global prosperity, and protecting human rights,” the White House said in a separate statement.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/09/14/2003806204