Report: Musk Planning China Visit

    Report: Musk Planning China Visit
    Last updated Mar 31, 2023
    Image credit: File [via Reuters]


    • On Friday, Reuters — citing two anonymous sources — reported that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is planning to visit China as early as April to meet with newly-appointed Premier Li Qiang.[1]
    • China is Tesla's second-largest market after the US, and its Shanghai plant is the electric carmaker's largest production hub. A visit from Musk would mark the first since the outbreak of COVID and since Xi Jinping secured a third term as China's president.[2]
    • Musk visited China in early 2020 when he set the internet abuzz by dancing on stage during an event at the Shanghai factory. He has since attended virtual forums, such as China's World Internet Conference.[3]
    • Li served as Shanghai's party secretary, overseeing the construction and opening of the Tesla factory, before becoming premier in March. Rumors of a visit come as China is reportedly trying to attract more foreign investment to help bolster its economy.[4]
    • The reason behind the potential meeting isn't yet clear, and a more exact timeframe is reportedly subject to Li's availability.[5]
    • Last week, Musk’s mother visited China for the first time. She’s gained popularity in the country because of the Chinese version of her memoir, “A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success.”[5]


    Narrative A

    Musk, reliant on the Chinese market for Tesla's growth, is becoming dangerously intertwined with the Chinese Communist Party, and Congress has a duty to investigate. Amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington, any misstep by Musk — who controls one of the most powerful social media platforms — could threaten free speech, privacy, national security, and US foreign policy goals.

    Narrative B

    China is the world's largest market for electric vehicles, accounting for about two-thirds of all EV sales globally, and it’s Musk’s right to forge closer business relations with the country. While some view business interactions with China as "aiding the enemy," Musk rightly recognizes it as a necessary strategy to maintain global competitiveness, which is paramount to Washington's desired leverage over Beijing.

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