Elon Musk Explores New Energy Vehicles in China, Discusses Future Development with Industry Minister

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Elon Musk, the renowned billionaire and CEO of Tesla, engaged in discussions with China's industry minister on Wednesday regarding the development of new energy vehicles. This meeting took place the day after Musk's arrival in Beijing, where he expressed his aspirations to expand his business in the world's second-largest economy.

During the meeting with Jin Zhuanglong, held in Beijing, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology confirmed that the discussions revolved around "the development of new energy vehicles and intelligent connected vehicles." Further details of the conversation were not disclosed, and Tesla representatives have yet to respond to requests for additional information about Musk's itinerary.

Musk holds significant business interests in China, and during a meeting with foreign minister Qin Gang on Tuesday, he expressed his company's willingness to further expand its presence in the country. Chinese media reported that Tesla welcomed Musk to Beijing with a lavish 16-course dinner, featuring a variety of delicacies such as seafood, New Zealand lamb, and traditional Beijing-style soybean paste noodles.

China, being the largest electric vehicle market in the world, witnessed Tesla's announcement in April to construct a second enormous factory in Shanghai. This new facility would complement the existing Gigafactory that commenced construction in 2019.

During his meeting with Qin, Musk also expressed his opposition to an economic "decoupling" between China and the United States, emphasizing the intertwined interests of both nations. According to Beijing, Musk stated that the United States and China are like conjoined twins, inseparable from each other.

Musk's extensive business ties to China have attracted attention in Washington, with President Joe Biden acknowledging the significance of scrutinizing the executive's connections to foreign countries in November. Additionally, Musk has stirred controversy by suggesting that Taiwan should be incorporated into China, a stance that pleased Chinese officials but sparked outrage in Taiwan.

Critics have pointed out the industrial connections between Musk and China, which have become increasingly complex amidst the strained relations between China and the United States. In response to these concerns, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stated on Tuesday that China welcomes visits by international executives to foster a better understanding of the country and promote mutually beneficial cooperation.

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